Tuesday, July 13, 2021

From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: Are Jews really united against anti-Semitism?
Unlike in past generations when Israel’s peril was a source of Jewish unity, today it is a deeply divisive issue, with the politically and religiously liberal majority of the community adopting critical views of the Jewish state and the minority that are Orthodox, politically conservative or staunchly pro-Zionist more likely to support it enthusiastically against its detractors.

More to the point, many on the Jewish left are adamant about trying to detach concern about anti-Semitism from the rising tide of anti-Zionist invective coming from the base of the Democratic Party. They are opposed to the widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism promulgated by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance precisely because it includes rhetoric and actions that seek to delegitimize Israel, to judge it by double standards applied to no other government and to compare the Jewish state to the Nazis among its examples of anti-Semitism.

That appears to be why Americans for Peace Now and J Street stayed away from the rally. The same applies to openly anti-Zionist groups like Jewish Voices for Peace and IfNotNow—themselves a source of anti-Semitic incitement.

Unfortunately, the only instances of anti-Semitism that motivate many Jews to protest are those incidents that can be linked, however incorrectly, to their domestic political opponents, such as former President Donald Trump.

Along those same lines, some Jews refused to show up at the rally simply because it was an attempt at unity. For them, the partisan tribal culture wars of American politics are more important than a statement against Jew-hatred—so much so that they would prefer to skip it rather than to show up alongside conservative Jews who oppose critical race theory and the Black Lives Matter movement, which have been implicated in the targeting of Israel and the delegitimization of Jews.

It would be nice to draw from Sunday’s event the conclusion that Jewish unity is possible and that opposition to anti-Semitism, no matter its origin, is universal. But that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Opposition to anti-Semitism that doesn’t confront anti-Zionism and its prominent proponents, such as Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), is essentially giving a permission slip to hate groups and violent individuals to target Jews.

Until the fight against anti-Semitism can be said to include the entire Jewish community—meaning that Jews are willing to confront those on the left as well as the right—it’s no good pretending that Jewish unity is possible. So long as a significant percentage of Jews aren’t willing to stand up against such forces in theory, let alone show up at a rally against them, any talk of unity or a community that understands what it’s up against is deeply mistaken.
It’s not about Israel
Anti-Israel rhetoric and discriminatory initiatives are not really about Israel at all. They are certainly not about the Palestinians. They are not about justice or peace. They are in fact about American Jews and our place in American society.

In recent months, we have seen a large increase in bigoted, discriminatory, and slanderous statements about Israel’s alleged misdeeds. The anti-Israel campaign hijacks unsuspecting organizations – a city council in Raleigh, North Carolina; a teachers’ union in Seattle, the student government at Yale – to use as political shields for their campaign of hate. The campaign pretends to target Israeli crimes – some real, some exaggerated, some completely fictional – but it has no effect on Israeli policies and actions. The Israeli government really doesn’t care and likely hasn’t even noticed that Swarthmore College students called to boycott Sabra hummus (made in Virginia), a call the college president rejected.

Nor does the anti-Israel campaign help Palestinians. It was silent when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, and Lebanon. It has nothing to say about the Egyptian blockade of Gaza or the murder of a dissident by the Palestinian Authority security forces. Anti-Israel activists didn’t protest Assad’s forces gassing Palestinians in Syria, or Hamas using Gaza civilians as human shields for rocket attacks on Israel.

They remain mum regarding apartheid in Lebanon, which denies citizenship and civil rights to Palestinians, and don’t critique the UN agency that rejects resettlement of Palestinian refugees and condemns them to eternal dispossession. They didn’t care that the Palestinian Authority rejected COVID-19 vaccines from Israel. (The vaccines were sent to South Korea instead.) And they are oblivious to the harm their campaign against Israeli companies causes Palestinians, as when a Soda Stream factory relocated in response to the boycotters’ pressure, laying off hundreds of workers from the West Bank. (The pressure continued anyway.)

So if the campaign doesn’t hurt Israel and doesn’t help Palestinian, what is its point? The point is to condemn Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. (Grumbles about “ethno-nationalism” fall flat when applied only to Israel and not to other nation-states like, say, Norway and Japan.) Affinity and connection to the land and the people of Israel are core to Jewish religious tradition, ethnic identity, and cultural heritage. The right of self-determination and political independence is granted to indigenous peoples everywhere, challenged only with regards to the Jewish people. So an attack on Israel is, in fact, an attack on Jews everywhere. Singling out the Jewish state and the Jewish people is an expression of prejudice; prejudice against Jews is so ancient and so prevalent that it has its own word, “antisemitism,” or Jew-hatred. (h/t Yerushalimey)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Why Islamism became woke, Extremists are using progressive rhetoric to fool the West
To their credit, some on the Left refuse to countenance Islamism, as they become increasingly aware of the contradiction between supporting universal human rights (including women’s rights) and the demands of Islamists. In France, for example, the centre-Left former Prime Minister Manuel Valls courageously denounced Islamo-Leftism without the least hesitation.

In the United States, however, such vocal opposition from the Left is increasingly rare. Indeed, at the 2019 Netroots Nation conference — America’s “largest annual conference for progressives” — multiple panel discussions and training sessions reflected the Islamist agenda, frequently coalescing around a critique of Israel while neglecting the toxic role played by Hamas in perpetuating the conflict. Meanwhile, Linda Sarsour, a feminist organiser and co-chair of the “Women’s March”, has made her support for Islamism more explicit: “You’ll know when you’re living under Shariah law if suddenly all your loans and credit cards become interest-free. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?”

In government, too, Islamism’s capture of progressivism has become increasingly clear. Turkey’s Islamist President Erdogan might lead one of the world’s most brutal and repressive regimes, but that hasn’t stopped Ilhan Omar, the Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, from expressing support for him. No doubt she was inspired by Erdogan last year when he proclaimed that “social justice is in our book”, and that “Turkey is the biggest opportunity for western countries in the fight against xenophobia, Islamophobia, cultural racism and extremism”.

Erdogan, in effect, was explicitly using progressive rhetoric. It’s a move that’s since been mirrored in Iran. The Tehran Times ­— which describes itself as “a loud voice of the Islamic Revolution” — recently attacked former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his “deep-rooted Islamophobia”. And in March, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif “lauded the determination of Islamic countries to address Islamophobia as one of the main challenges facing the Islamic Ummah [community in the West]”. Islamists, in other words, are becoming skilled at wrapping themselves in a mantle of woke words, while engaging in systematic brutality and repression within their own countries.

To this new alliance between Islamism and progressive rhetoric, there is no simple response. Dawa, by its very nature, is inherently more difficult to fight than jihad. But those who believe, as I do, in a free, open, pluralist society need to be aware of the nature and magnitude of this new challenge. After two decades of fighting Islamist terrorism, we have a new and more subtle foe to contend with. Wokeism has long been regarded as a dangerous phenomenon — but only now are we starting to see why.


The Exodus 1947: How It became Israel’s first Ship of State
Forget what you saw in the movie “Exodus” Paul Newman wasn’t there, and the British were much more brutal than portrayed in the film. They clubbed the Jewish Holocaust victims trying to reach the historical homeland of the Jewish people as they tried to send them back to Germany.

Still called the President Warfield, the ship that was to become the Exodus 1947 left Sète France sometime between two and four in the morning of July 11, 1947. It flew a Honduran flag and claimed to be headed for Istanbul but was actually headed for British mandate Palestine. It was carrying 4,515 passengers, including 1,600 men, 1,282 women, and 1,672 children and teenagers.

Today Great Britain and their European allies are still appeasing radical Islamists, their terrorism, their call for the destruction of the Jewish State, and the anti-Semitic hatred they teach their children.

The Palmach skipper Ike Aronowicz was its captain, and Haganah commissioner Yossi Harel was the commander. The ship was operated by a crew of some 35 volunteers, most of them American Jews.

As she left the port, the Exodus was shadowed by the sloop HMS Mermaid and by RAF aircraft. Later, the Mermaid was relieved by the destroyer HMS Cheviot which would eventually ram the ship of Jews.

On July 17, 1947, the rickety old steamer was renamed Exodus 1947. In an open sea ceremony, as the steamship was being attacked by the British navy, the Zionist blue-white flag with the Star of David was hoisted, and “Hatikvah, (the Hope)” a song which eventually became the national anthem of the Jewish State of Israel was sung over and over. As the Exodus 1947 became Israel’s first ship Great Britain showed their cowardice and contempt for Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.

With the White Paper of 1939, the British caved into Arab pressure (as they have done before and as they still do today with every abstention to anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.). The White Paper severely limited the number of Jews that could enter what was then called Palestine (no connection to the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians today.).

The White Paper meant that Great Britain was sentencing thousands of Jews who could have escaped Hitler to death as they had no place to go. The U.S. refused to take them onto American soil. FDR believed there were already too many Jews in the U.S., and Churchill refused to take them on British soil or even to the Jew’s own homeland. After the war, the Jews began to find ways to sneak Jews into the holy land. The most famous of those missions The Exodus 1947.

Ironically The President Warfield was named after Solomon Davies Warfield, president of the Baltimore Steam Packet Company, a steamship line that owned the ship. Warfield was the uncle of Wallis Warfield Simpson, the woman for whom King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom abdicated his throne in 1937. The British would get their revenge when President Warfield became the Exodus 1947.
PodCast: The real 'Inglourious Basterds'
You might be forgiven for thinking Quentin Tarantino's film 'Inglourious Basterds' is a work of fiction, but it's based on real characters from WWII.

Leah Garrett is the author of X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos who helped defeat the Nazis.(h/t Yerushalimey)
Media Continues to Bash Orthodox Jews With New Netflix Show “My Unorthodox Life”
As an Orthodox Jew, I’m always learning something new about myself thanks to the media. I’m a fundamentalist who is insular, backwards, stuck in the past and, of course, because I am a woman, I am oppressed. I am so oppressed I don’t even know I’m being oppressed. I can’t hear all the horrible things these terrible male Orthodox rabbis are saying to me beneath my head covering.

I’ll have another opportunity to educate myself when “My Unorthodox Life” premieres on Netflix this month. This show is about a 40-something woman, Julia Haart, who lived in an Orthodox community and decided to stop being religious. As we say in our community, she “went off the derech,” or “went off the path.” Now, she is a successful CEO who is the star of a new Kardashian-esque reality show. In the trailer, she says, “It takes time to deprogram yourself.”

Media outlets are reporting that the show “takes a strong stance against fundamentalism” and they’re praising her for “escaping” the grasp of her ultra-Orthodox community in Monsey, New York.

This is a story we’ve heard over and over again. A person grows up in an Orthodox community, they claim the community treats them so badly that they have to leave, and then they write a tell-all memoir that bashes everyone they used to know. If they’re lucky, they’ll get to appear in a documentary or get a show on Netflix. Usually, the word “unorthodox” is involved.

If there is one thing I want readers to take away from this article, it’s this: Stop using the word “unorthodox” when you go off the derech. Pick a new word. We get it!

In all seriousness, most of these stories involve individuals that either have some type of mental illness, were abused by their families, had spouses who didn’t understand them, etc. Somehow, though, the Orthodox lifestyle and/or community are to blame for all their troubles. And when they bring up shocking stories about their communities, nobody bothers to look into them to see if they are true. Everything is taken as truth, when much of it has actually been debunked. The Orthodox perspective is almost never taken into account. (h/t jzaik)
Linda Sarsour, Israel, and Surfside
Israel has had its share of experience with building collapses. Just two months ago, an overcrowded bleacher in a partially constructed synagogue in Givat Ze’ev collapsed, killing three people and injuring 166. Back in 2001, 23 people were killed and 380 injured when one floor in a poorly constructed Jerusalem wedding hall collapsed.

But Israel also has the unique experience of dealing with situations in which a building partly collapsed not because of construction flaws — but because Palestinian Arab terrorists deliberately caused it to collapse.

Recall the 1975 attack on the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv, an episode worth revisiting in some detail because of the many lessons that can still be learned from it.

To begin with, note that the attack took place in Tel Aviv. If the attackers were genuinely interested in just a Palestinian state in the “West Bank” territories, they would have attacked one of the Jewish communities there. Israel’s critics are always telling us that it’s the “settlements” that are the obstacle to peace. Yet the terrorists did not target a settlement. They struck in Tel Aviv.

Also, note the type of target. They didn’t attack Israeli soldiers. They didn’t attack an Israeli Army base. The attackers were fulfilling the very definition of terrorists — they deliberately chose a target filled with civilians.

The victims were not part of some “occupying army.” They were unarmed and defenseless men, women, and children.

“There is no doubt that the terrorists were dispatched by the Fatah organization,” Defense Minister Shimon Peres said at the time. “This has put paid to the legend which the Fatah has been trying to foster, especially among American visitors, regarding its ostensibly moderate attitude.”
Omar and Tlaib Mum on Whether Palestinian Aid Should Be Conditioned on Human Rights Abuses
Top proponents of conditioning aid to Israel based on alleged human rights violations will not say whether they also support conditioning aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) both say U.S. aid to Israel should be conditioned on the Jewish state's treatment of the Palestinians, which they claim violates international law. Neither congresswoman's office responded, however, to Washington Free Beacon inquiries about their position on conditioning U.S. aid to the Palestinians in the wake of the Palestinian government's murder of an anti-corruption activist last month.

After Hamas fired thousands of missiles at Israeli citizens in May, sparking the worst violence in years, Omar and Tlaib called for cutting off U.S. aid to Israel. They applauded efforts by the Biden administration to send millions in U.S. aid to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as part of postwar reconstruction efforts.

The Palestinian Authority's brutal beating of Nizar Benet, whose murder is fueling anti-government protests in the authority-controlled West Bank, is raising questions about the Biden White House's decision to resume millions of dollars in funding to the Palestinian government. While Republicans in Congress largely object to the funds, which they say support the Palestinian Authority's terror incitement against Israel, Democrats have mostly avoided criticizing the authority's crackdown on reformers.

The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are known to crush dissent with violence. Both groups "routinely arrest and torture peaceful critics and opponents," according to Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization that operates in the region. Palestinians who protest against the government and call for reforms are often imprisoned, beaten, tortured, and killed. The Israeli government, on the other hand, adheres to Western rule of law.
Israeli Activist Targeted After Calling Malaysian Troll Campaign Over Gaza Conflict a ‘Digital War’
A social media activist who called attention to Malaysian groups harassing and threatening Israelis in a coordinated online campaign has been targeted by some of the same digital actors after a viral video posted Sunday.

In the video post — which attracted more than 1 million Twitter views in only 24 hours — pro-Israel activist Emily Schrader called the “digital phenomenon” a strategic and coordinated cyber attack to suspend and remove the accounts of Israelis, under the hashtag #IsraelKoyak. The phrase was seen over half a million times during the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“This isn’t just hacktivism. It’s a digital war,” Schrader said during the video posted on Twitter. “Using Telegram, Malaysian activists created channels such as the Team Suspend Twitter, in which they have repeatedly logged into accounts with fake passwords in order to block the account, including, by the way, my account.”

In some of the responses to the video Schrader is pictured with a “Death note,” while others read “you are nothing but a b**ch” or “delete yourself.”

According to Schrader and a recent report published by the Israel-based Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), one of the leading Malaysian groups behind these attacks is a Facebook group known in Malay as “Tentera Troll Kebangsaan Malaysia” — or the “Malaysian national troll army” — which has over half a million followers.


Piers Corbyn compares vaccinations to Nazi policy outside Houses of Parliament, despite being arrested after similar incident in February
Footage taken earlier today has shown Piers Corbyn comparing vaccinations to Nazi policy outside the Houses of Parliament, despite being arrested after a similar incident in February.

The video shows Mr Corbyn and another man standing in front of a sign which reads “No Nazi forced jab” and yelling “arrest Matt Hancock” through a megaphone.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “It is tempting not to take conspiracy theorists Piers Corbyn seriously, but simply dismissing his antics without calling them out is how he and others like David Icke are given the space to promote their absurd and inflammatory nonsense to the public.

“Whatever one thinks of pandemic lockdowns and vaccination drives, they are not comparable to Nazi Germany and the systematic slaughter of millions of Jews. Mr Corbyn has repeatedly shown his contempt for the Jewish community, including by distributing flyers in Jewish neighbourhoods equating lockdown rules to Auschwitz. If one is seeking reasonable debate about how governments and populaces have responded to the pandemic, Piers Corbyn is no role model.”

This incident echos a similar one from earlier of this year when Mr Corbyn was arrested after distributing grotesque flyers comparing lockdown rules to Auschwitz.
John McDonnell tweets support for far-left Canary website whose editor has history of antisemitic comments
John McDonnell, the Labour MP former Shadow Chancellor, has tweeted his support for The Canary, a controversial hard-left blog, despite the fact that it is under investigation by the Government’s Independent Advisor on Antisemitism and its editor’s history of antisemitic statements.

Mr McDonnell was supporting a crowdfunding campaign for the website, even though its editor, Kerry-Ann Mendoza, has repeatedly compared Israel to the Nazis, in breach of the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Ms Mendoza has also previously attacked Campaign Against Antisemitism using violent language, saying “The antisemitism witch hunt is seriously about to face off with #BlackLivesMatter I’m telling you now, those anti-Black, anti-Palestinian racists are gonna get their asses dragged all over town. And they have no clue. Because…entitlement.”

Recently, Mr McDonnell tweeted a photo of an antisemitic sign which was featured at a rally that he himself attended.Last year, Mc McDonnell was accused of sharing a platform with expelled Labour members at the Labour Representation Committee’s Annual General Meeting, namely Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, but he claimed that it was “ridiculous” to suggest that as it was an open meeting and that he could not control who spoke. He remains the Honorary President of the controversial group.


Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis says Warwick University academics “sought to provoke Jewish students and prolong their suffering” by challenging International Definition of Antisemitism
Jonathan Gullis, the Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent, has written a letter to the University of Warwick in which he has stated that the University’s academics have “sought to provoke Jewish students and prolong their suffering” by passing a motion to challenge the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Mr Gullis wrote to Professor Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor and President at the University, voicing his concern at the University Assembly’s motion to challenge the Definition. Mr Gullis labelled the motion “disgraceful” before alleging that the University’s delay in adopting to Definition, as well as its hesitancy in tackling on-campus antisemitism, had caused “extreme distress for both Jewish students and the wider Jewish community.”

Mr Gullis went on to say that he was “appalled”, accusing the University’s academics of seeking to “provoke Jewish students and prolong their suffering.” Referring to the Macpherson principle on anti-racism, Mr Gullis reaffirmed the importance of allowing Jewish students to determine what constitutes antisemitism.

The MP for Stoke-on-Trent concluded by highlighting the University’s own statement on the welfare of its Jewish students and asking whether or not Prof. Croft would condemn the Assembly’s motion.

Mr Gullis’ letter comes after the University released a statement clarifying that the University’s Assembly is not a decision-making body, and that motions are not binding. It has also stated that the Definition will continue to be utilised in disciplinary matters relating to antisemitism.
Yale Professor: College Council Attack on Israel Is Not Supported by Fact, Nor Becoming of Yale Students
In Israel, Jews and Arabs sit together in the waiting room of Hadassah Hospital waiting to receive the same care. I know, I have worked there.

Jewish and Arab students both do top-flight research at institutions like Hebrew University and the Technion. Side by side, they present their work at major scientific conferences. I know, I have been there and quizzed them.

Jews and Arabs start restaurants and other businesses together. I have seen it. Arab justices sit on the Supreme Court. An Arab party is part of the new governing coalition of Israel.

If Arab people want to participate in a true — and messy — democracy, the only place they can do so in the Middle East, is in Israel.

This hardly sounds like apartheid or genocide to me. Any claims to that effect are fallacious; they demean actual genocide and apartheid; and they are hurtful to me and to the Jewish community at Yale.

Given what I know, I was dismayed to learn of the Yale College Council (YCC) vote to condemn Israel and equate her with apartheid South Africa or to suggest that the country engages in genocide. Neither circumstances nor history support such malicious claims. The invalidity of these analogies is evident to any thinking student of history, one who reads books and studies events — not one who gets all her facts from a single newspaper with a pronounced slant, or worse, a mendacious tweet.
Canary Mission: The Many Faces of Omar Barghouti (BDS Founder)
Omar Barghouti founded the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement in July 2005 after becoming a founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) in 2004 (PACBI joined the BDS campaign in 2005).

He also co-founded the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions National Committee (BNC) in November 2007. The BNC leads and supports the BDS movement and, according to Barghouti, “sets the overall strategies, the objectives of the movement."

Barghouti has expressed support for terrorism, promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and regularly demonizes Israel. He opposes the Jewish right to self-determination and Israel’s existence, openly calling for its destruction as a Jewish state.


A fashion podcaster wanted to call out white privilege. Now she’s being accused of antisemitism
For years, my wife told me her outlook on fashion was inspired by Man Repeller, the edgy publication founded by Leandra Medine Cohen, a Jewish prep school graduate who encouraged her followers to dress for themselves, not for the men around them.

Last year, we both watched as Medine Cohen stepped down from Man Repeller, then closed it, after facing backlash for firing one of her few Black employees a few months before last summer’s racial justice protests.

So on Thursday night, when I learned that she had recorded an interview that was widely panned as a self-involved disaster, I was curious enough to listen. But when I tuned into the episode of the podcast, called “The Cutting Room Floor,” and hosted by designer Recho Omondi, I was surprised by what I heard — not because of what Medine Cohen said, but because her interview was bookended by antisemitism.

Near the beginning of the episode, Omondi, who is Black, discussed the racist origins of the United States — and falsely implicated Jews.

“This country was founded by racist white men — and for the purpose of this episode it’s important to note that many of those white men, slaveowners, etc., were also Jewish and also saw Blacks as less than human,” she said. In fact, Jews, let alone Jewish slaveowners, did not make up any significant proportion of the United States’ founders — and Omondi’s claim echoed a stereotype promoted by some of the most prominent American antisemites.

Then the interview with Medine Cohen starts, and it doesn’t go well. Medine Cohen grew up on the wealthy Upper East Side of Manhattan and attended the Ramaz School, an elite Jewish prep school. Her parents also owned a second home in the Hamptons. Yet she says at one point that until last year she thought she grew up poor and on the verge of homelessness. She also talks about how she abruptly closed Man Repeller, leaving the site’s employees without work during the pandemic.
Legal Challenge to Lancaster City Council’s BDS motion
The City Council’s motion, passed on 23 June 2021, resolved to “express its support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement’s demands that Israel ends injustices that infringe international laws and Palestinian rights” and “write to the Lancashire County Pension Fund … and the Local Pensions Partnership urging that they adopt policies requiring them to divest from all companies active in illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine and all arms companies which supply weapons to Israel”.

Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to foster good relations between persons of different ethnicities and different religions in the exercise their functions.

In the Leicester City Council case the English Court of Appeal confirmed that this duty, known as the “Public Sector Equality Duty” or “PSED”, applies to a local council when it debates and adopts a BDS resolution. However, the Court held that Leicester City Council had complied with the PSED in the circumstances of that case.

UKLFI have now written to Kieran Keane, Chief Executive of Lancaster City Council, arguing that the Council manifestly failed to comply with the PSED in relation to its BDS motion. Points made in UKLFI’s letter include:
- The Council did not consult either the Lancaster Jewish Community or the Lancaster University Jewish Society prior to the debate. Both have expressed concerns about the impact of the resolution on them. The failure to consult the Lancaster University Jewish Society was particularly egregious since the proposer of the resolution, Councillor O’Dwyer-Henry, represents the University Ward and referred to work done by the University’s Friends of Palestine Society.
- The Council did not consider research on the impact of BDS campaigns on Jewish people and particularly Jewish students, such as that conducted at US universities.
- Councillor O’Dwyer-Henry told the Council that he was unaware of any connections of the BDS movement to terrorism. However, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (“BNC”), which launched and continues to lead the movement, heads its list of members on its website with the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine (“PNIF”). There is evidence that PNIF’s members include Hamas, the PFLP, the PFLP – GC and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, each of which is designated as a terrorist organisation by the UK and other countries.
- Allegations against Israel in the motion were one-sided and misleading, and there was no consideration of the potential harm to community relations caused by the Council’s endorsement of highly partisan positions on these contentious issues at a time when relations are already inflamed.
From ‘Peaceful’ Anti-Israel Vilification to Antisemitic Violent Attacks
Few could have imagined that the current wave of violence against Jews in major American cities would be possible within living memory of the Holocaust.

Jews in America now fear walking the streets wearing Jewish artifacts, congregating outside Jewish community buildings, or even speaking Hebrew or Yiddish in public. Shocking and unparalleled scenes of Jews being assaulted by mobs of anti-Israel thugs in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and other American cities, have begun to ring alarm bells.

Early in July, a rabbi sitting outside a Boston synagogue was stabbed eight times by Khaled Awad, 24, a known and violent antisemite.

At anti-Israel rallies from Europe to our major cities in America, violent and murderous slogans against Jews are regularly chanted such as “Long live intifada,” “From the River to the Sea,” and “Khaybar, Khaybar ya yahud! J’aish Mohammed sa ya’ud!” (“Khaybar, Khaybar, oh, Jews! Mohammed’s army will rise again!”– a reference to the 7th-century Muslim massacre of the Jews of Khaybar, near Medina in the northwestern Arabian Peninsula, i.e., present-day Saudi Arabia).

This torrent of Jew-hatred has also included harassment, vandalism, and online abuse.

Not the Usual Suspects Anymore

For the most part, this onslaught of antisemitic activity didn’t come from far-right groups. It has overwhelmingly been carried out by Muslim extremists, as well as radical leftist allies. This didn’t happen out of the blue. Activists of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to delegitimize the State of Israel and promote antisemitism, have committed previous attacks against Jews in many universities and in major American cities.

As the Jewish-American community has been focused largely on the threats emanating from white supremacists, these acts of violence have been ignored and dismissed time and time again, while law enforcement agencies did not investigate or held these violent antisemites accountable.


Gab’s Twitter account is suspended after tweeting that antisemitism is “anything Jews don’t like”
Gab’s Twitter account has been suspended after tweeting that antisemitism is “anything Jews don’t like.”

Gab is a social-media platform that was founded in 2016 with a claim to “champion free speech,” and has become a haven for supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory and other far-right groups and individuals banned from mainstream platforms.

The inflammatory tweet reads: “‘Antisemitism’ has become ‘ban and censor anything Jews don’t like,’ and well, that’s not gonna fly on a pro-first amendment pro-free speech website. Sorry.”

The post continues: “Use the block button, or stay on Twitter. No special privileges on Gab for any groups.”

While Gab proclaims to be “pro-free speech,” others have described the network as racist and alleges that it promotes several conspiracy theories.

Earlier this year, the founder of Gab, Andrew Torba, was accused of wooing far-right figures to his platform with promises of greater visibility.
NPR Slipping Back to Its Anti-Israel, Biased Reporting
During its frequent fundraisers, NPR appeals to listeners to place their trust in its mission “to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.” Far from fulfilling this stated mission, however, NPR is slipping back to its earlier pattern of shallow and biased reporting about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that deprives the public of essential information. (See here, here, and here, for examples.)

Since the beginning of July, NPR aired at least three problematic reports, two by veteran Middle East correspondent Deborah Amos and one by reporter Leila Fadel that shared a common thread – a clichéd narrative that omitted relevant context and information to blame Israel for dispossessing and discriminating against Palestinians and stirring conflict. It was a throwback to the NPR of the past. July 2, 2021, All Things Considered:
“Palestinians May Be Evicted From Jerusalem Neighborhood To Make Way For Biblical Park”

Deborah Amos presented a one-sided, propagandistic account of demolitions in the Silwan area of Jerusalem that omitted half the story. Introduced by Ari Shapiro, it established a misleading narrative that blamed Israel for sparking conflict in the region.

Dozens of Palestinian families in an East Jerusalem neighborhood could have their homes demolished to make way for a special project by Jewish settlers – an archaeological park near ancient ruins. It could be the next focus of the conflict over Jerusalem. Plans to evict Palestinians from another neighborhood, Sheikh Jarrah, helped spark the Israeli-Palestinian violence in May.

While Hamas leaders did use events in Sheikh Jarrah as a pretext to lob thousands of missiles at population centers inside Israel in the name of “defending” Jerusalem, it was exactly that – a pretext. Israel’s planned evictions had nothing to do with dispossession and everything to do with Palestinian tenants who refused to pay their rents in a court decision that reaffirmed the pre-1948 Jewish ownership of the land, as Alex Safian explains in detail. Presenting only the Hamas pretext without explaining the other half of the story, NPR glibly adopted Hamas’ blame Israel narrative to explain “the Israeli-Palestinian violence in May.” Similarly, by stating that Palestinians in East Jerusalem might have their homes demolished to make way for a project by Jewish “settlers” – a description used to derogate Israeli authorities — without exploring the underlying basis of the story, the report just parroted a Palestinian narrative that blames Israel and Israeli “settlers” for everything wrong.
British Muslim news site's op-ed praises Hamas and incites violence
Let’s be clear: Bari-Atwan is calling on “all Arabs and Muslims” to assist Hamas and Islamic Jihad (recognised as terrorist groups by the British government) in their violent, antisemitic ‘resistance’ targeting Israeli civilians – violence that shouldn’t end, he avers, until all the land ‘between the river and the sea is “liberated”. Though it is of course for others to determine the particulars of British law, advice put out by the Home Office does note that, under the Terrorism Act of 2000, “it is illegal to make statements in support of a terrorist organisation”.

Moreover, Bari-Atwan’s global call to arms against Zionism, let’s remember, was published by 5 Pillars editors on the heels of a record surge in antisemitism in the country – racist incidents fueled, in large measure, by incendiary reactions and extremist rhetoric by anti-Israel activists.

As CST argued, the rhetoric and activism that frames Israel as a unique evil in the world inevitably spills over into antisemitism.

Given Bari-Atwan’s habit of publicly expressing antisemitic, violent and conspiratorial views, it’s not at all surprising that he’d write such an op-ed.

However, given that 5 Pillars fancies itself a serious news site which adheres to “a rigorous set of journalistic standards” and is regulated by the press regulator IMPRESS, we intend to hold them accountable for praising proscribed terror groups and literally inciting billions to violence.


British Jews to get apology 800 years after antisemitic laws that led to their expulsion
British Jewish leaders say an anticipated apology from the Church of England for antisemitic laws enacted in 1222 is “better late than never.”

The church is planning a formal “act of repentance” for next year, the 800th anniversary of the Synod of Oxford, a set of laws that restricted Jews’ rights to engage with Christians in England, according to a report in the Telegraph.

The laws ultimately led to the expulsion of England’s Jews in 1290. They were not officially readmitted until 1656.

“The phrase ‘better late than never’ is truly appropriate here. The historic trauma of medieval English anti-Semitism can never be erased and its legacy survives today — for example, through the persistence of the ‘blood libel’ allegation that was invented in this country,” Dave Rich, the policy director of a British antisemitism watchdog group, told the Telegraph.

“But at a time of rising anti-Semitism, the support and empathy of the Church of England for our Jewish community is most welcome as a reminder that the Britain of today is a very different place,” Rich said.
Ukrainian Film Shows ‘Deep History’ of Holocaust Massacre
Archive footage and photographs preserve memories of one of the biggest single massacres of Jews during the Nazi Holocaust in a documentary premiered by Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa on Monday.

“Babi Yar. Context,” unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of the mass killing that marked the start of the Holocaust in occupied Soviet Ukraine, as well as surrounding events.

“It is a deep history and we have to know our history, and films must provoke interest in our history,” Loznitsa said at the launch.

Nazi German forces shot dead an estimated 34,000 Jewish men, women and children on Sept. 29-30, 1941, in a large ravine known both as Babi Yar and Babyn Yar, on the edge of Kyiv.

The 56-year-old director said he grew up in the city, not far from the site, and found traces of the past as he wandered around as a child.

“I remember the stones which they left … when they destroyed the Jewish cemetery. The stones were in the bushes,” he said. “I asked myself what happened here, what is it?”

But the adults around him were not forthcoming. “They would say, when you will grow up you will know.”
Auschwitz Museum says Boebert’s Nazi-vaccine link shows ‘intellectual decline’
The Auschwitz Memorial told Rep. Lauren Boebert that her tweet comparing vaccination efforts to Nazi Germany “is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”

Last week, Boebert, a Colorado Republican, tweeted that a federal effort to reach out to people who have yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19 was like Nazi Germany. Earlier this year, she also compared public health measures to the “Brown Shirts,” a Nazi Party militia.

“Biden has deployed his Needle Nazis to Mesa County,” Boebert tweeted on Thursday. “The people of my district are more than smart enough to make their own decisions about the experimental vaccine and don’t need coercion by federal agents. Did I wake up in Communist China?”

Over the weekend, the Twitter account of the Auschwitz Memorial, the museum at the site of the Nazi concentration camp where more than a million Jews were murdered, replied to Boebert lambasting such comparisons.

“Instrumentalization of the tragedy of all people who between 1933-45 suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the hateful totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline,” the account tweeted on Saturday morning, Polish time.
ZoomInfo Buys Israeli Company Chorus.ai for $575 Million
Business intelligence company ZoomInfo announced Tuesday it has agreed to acquire Israeli startup Chorus.ai, which developed an AI-based system to analyze sales calls, for $575 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, ZoomInfo agreed to acquire the assets and specified liabilities of Chorus in an all-cash transaction, which includes a cash tax benefit of over $100 million. The purchase price will be funded with cash on hand and $500 million in additional financing.

The acquisition is expected to lead to significant growth, generate positive operating income, and positive cash flow by the second half of 2022. In addition, the acquisition will lead to the expansion of the potential market of ZoomInfo for about $70 billion. Currently, ZoomInfo’s platform has more than 20,000 revenue teams users worldwide. The purchase of Chorus.ai will add to the platform a new category of insights that will reach new customers. As part of the deal, Chorus.ai 200 employees will join Zoominfo, as CEO Jim Benton will be named ZoomInfo’s Senior VP for emerging products.

To date, Chorus.ai has raised $100 million and has 200 employees, 40 of them in Tel Aviv. ZoomInfo also has Israeli roots, the company was founded by Yonatan Stern in Israel before it went through an IPO in 2020 after it was acquired several times along the way. Currently, the company is valued at about $20.7 billion. ZoomInfo has about 1800 employees in a number of locations in the US, while its R&D center is located in Raanana and has more than 300 employees, of whom about 240 are developers. In a conversation with Calcalist, Nir Keren, ZoomInfo’s operations director in Israel and its CTO said that “most of the acquired company’s technical staff is located in Israel and have managed to produce incredible technology with a small number of hands. We will significantly increase the number of employees in the field.”

Russell Levy, Chorus.ai, co-founder and CTO will remain with the company; however, the rest of the founders will not do so.
9 Israeli startups selected to help revolutionize healthcare
Nine Israeli healthcare, medtech, and biotech startups have been selected for the PlayBeyondBio initiative, spearheaded by the venture capital fund JVP, British-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca, international consulting firm Accenture, Margalit Startup City, Amazon AWS, and the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The chosen few were revealed this week at a special event at the Margalit Startup City Center for Excellence in Jerusalem.

The selection process focused on companies that develop tools capable of predicting and pre-diagnosing illnesses. Particular focus was given to startups whose platforms focus on cancer, heart and kidney diseases, and respiratory illnesses.

As part of the six-month program, the selected startups will be put on a fast-track path centering around pilot development, validation projects, and investments from the program's partners, including a package that covers mentoring on medical, regulation and go to market models. The will also be offered business guidance and consulting sessions with experts.

"The world has changed, the world health system has changed, and today it faces new, great challenges," said founder and chairman of JVP and Margalit Startup City Erel Margalit.
First deaf Knesset member gives maiden speech in sign language
Yamina MK Shirly Pinto, the first deaf lawmaker in the Knesset’s history, gave her maiden speech to the Knesset plenum in sign language on Monday evening.

Pinto, whose words were voiced by her interpreter, Liat Petcho, gave thanks to her ancestors for bring her to this moment, marking the first ever speech delivered from the podium in sign language.

“Here I am, Shirly Pinto Kadosh,” she began, following a quote from Psalms. She said her love of the State of Israel, of Jewish traditions, and arts and culture came to her through her parents and grandparents. “They answered every question I asked, and with every query I presented, they reminded me every day that where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Pinto, 32, entered the Israeli parliament following the resignation of one of Yamina’s ministers through the “Norwegian Law,” which allows any MK who is appointed to a cabinet post to step down temporarily from the Knesset, thereby permitting the next candidate on the party’s slate to enter parliament in their stead.

She is a long-time activist for disability-related issues, particularly those dealing with the hearing-impaired, and serves as Yamina’s representative in the World Zionist Congress.


2,000-Year-Old Coins Found in Binyamin Depict Bar Kochba Revolt
An archaeological survey in the northeast of the Binyamin Region conducted by the Martin Szuz Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University has turned up two rare 2,000-year-old coins at two adjacent sites.

One coin, discovered at Khirbet Jabaat, dates back to the Jewish revolt against the Romans and was minted in the year 67 CE. One side of the coin bears a depiction of a grape leaf and the Hebrew inscription Herut Zion (Freedom for Zion), while the other side is imprinted with a cup and the inscription “Year Two.”

The coin is the latest Second Temple-Era find unearthed at this site, which includes ritual baths, secret tunnels, stone vessels and burial caves.

The second coin, excavated at a site in the cliffs of Wadi Rashash, caused significant excitement among the archaeologists.

Dr. Dvir Raviv, who is directing the survey, explained that the coin was the first tangible evidence that the area in question had been under the administrative control of Bar Kochba, and might even testify to the existence of a Jewish community in the region until 134-135 CE, despite the prevailing belief that all Jewish communities to the north of Jerusalem were razed in the great revolt of the 7th decade CE and never resurrected.

One side of the coin from Wadi Rashash, which is believed to have been minted in 134-135 CE, is imprinted with a palm frond surrounded by a wreath, which itself is surrounded by the Hebrew inscription LeHerut Yerushalayim (“To the Liberation of Jerusalem”). The other side depicts musical instruments, possibly a harp, and the name “Shimon”—the first name of the leader of the revolt against the Romans, Shimon Ben Kosevah, better known as Shimon Bar Kochba.











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