Thursday, July 15, 2021

From Ian:

No More Slogans
The ADL is not alone in its failures; few of the other prestigious Jewish organizations headlining the No Fear coalition have done much better. But its performance is illustrative of the broader problem. On the eve of the rally, the ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt admitted in a Newsweek column that “the left has an antisemitism problem.” According to Greenblatt, “while extremism on the right has dominated the public conversation for much of the past five years … right now the challenge is also rising among certain elements of the far left.”

Greenblatt implies that this is a new and surprising phenomenon, but antisemitism found its most comfortable philosophical and political home on the left several years ago. President Obama’s strategy of distancing the United States from Israel while bolstering Iran was accompanied by a deliberate demonization of the Israeli government and more than a few intimations that Jewish money and influence were responsible for the domestic unpopularity of the administration’s nuclear deal.

In response, Greenblatt himself spent years leading numerous witch hunts, using the ADL imprimatur to tar opponents of the Obama administration’s Iran policy with the brush of antisemitism. Under the leadership of a partisan political operative, the ADL has been far more committed to the welfare of the Democratic Party than to the welfare of America’s Jews.

It’s no surprise, then, that antisemitism is enjoying normalization across the mainstream of Democratic politics. Just as in Corbyn’s Labour Party, antisemitism now permeates the Democrats’ progressive base. If nothing else, the one thing that Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March, the squad, the Democratic Socialists of America, the teachers unions, and the entire intersectional movement all share in common is a nagging antisemitism problem. These are not fringe movements, but valued members of the Democratic coalition, often used as campaign surrogates and enjoying public endorsement from leading Democratic politicians.

None of this is to say that there is no antisemitism on the right. Republican politicians and right-leaning pundits also stray into stereotyping, invoke antisemitic tropes, trivialize the Holocaust, hold Jews to unique double standards, refer to the canard of dual loyalty, and accept endorsements from outspoken antisemites. But Republican leadership and the Republican Party in general have been far more willing than Democrats to call out such behavior from their own colleagues, and to distance themselves from both the transgressors and their transgressions. On the political right, antisemitism is increasingly the exception; on the left, it is fast becoming the rule. Most people on the left are not antisemites, but antisemites now hold most of the left’s power.

“No Fear” may be a fine aspiration, but it’s deeply misplaced as a substitute for bold action against dangerous forces. In the current climate, fear is deeply rational. Antisemitism is on the rise, it has a strong and tightening grip on elite and establishment opinion, and the primary organizations Jews trust to protect us have instead abetted its rise. It’s past time for America’s Jews to move on from their traditional leaders and organizations in favor of new ones willing to speak honestly and act.

Debunked: Those Maps of ‘Palestinian Land Loss’ Are Misleading. Here’s Why.
If you’ve spent some time reading about the Arab-Israeli conflict on the internet, you have most likely encountered a series of maps supposedly outlining how Palestinian land ownership has dramatically declined over the last century.

Seen variously under titles such as “Palestinian loss of land,” “Shrinking Palestine” or, more recently, “Palestinian Historic Compromise,” the maps are striking.

They are also grossly misleading and poison the conversation about Israel. Here’s why.

Most people assume maps are accurate: charts that have been meticulously drawn up to faithfully depict the land they represent. But we often fail to consider their potential to mislead. The ability of maps to convey three-dimensional realities on a two-dimensional plane is more constrained than we realize. Moreover, the title above the map – like a headline – frames the way we understand it.

When taken out of context, maps can easily be used to manipulate or deceive. While this deception is immediately apparent to those familiar with the particular region’s history, such maps can nevertheless successfully influence the perception of uninformed people.

The next time you see these maps online, feel free to quote from part of this article, or to simply link to this page.

Whatever you do, don’t let the lie go unchallenged.

Misleading Terminology
First, some background information. Historically, the word “Palestinian” did not refer to Arabs living in the region, but to the region itself. Some 100 years ago, the land was administered by the British, and its inhabitants were Jewish, Christian and Muslim – all of whom were identified as “Palestinian.” However, for most, their primary identity was not their nationality, but their religion.

Indeed, many Arabs bristled at being called “Palestinian,” voicing strong opposition to the label. Instead, they saw themselves first and foremost as Arabs or Muslims. Only in the mid-1960s was the word co-opted to mean Arabs.

Hence, before 1948, it would not have made sense to talk about Palestinians as opposed to Jews. The population was divided into two primary groups: Jewish and Arab.

This makes sense because a sovereign Palestinian state never existed. Therefore, there were no “Palestinian lands.” Rather, the land was part of the Mandate for Palestine, a geographical area controlled by the British after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War.
Media Outlets Omit Critical Context About PA’s Pay-for-Slay, Turn Facts About Policy Into Israeli ‘Claims’
Glaring Omission: 2018 Taylor Force Act
The Washington Post, The Associated Press, and Reuters are also seemingly oblivious to the fact that Israel’s decision to freeze part of the tax transfers aligns with United States’ policy to prevent taxpayer money from going to the PA so long as it continues its Pay-for-Slay program.

Named for an American civilian murdered in a 2016 Palestinian terror attack in Tel Aviv, the Taylor Force Act was passed in 2018 with strong bipartisan support. Its purpose is to stop US funding to the Palestinian Authority due to the stipends paid to terrorists and their families.

In fact, it would seem that an article ostensibly castigating Jerusalem for taking steps to deter terrorism would include related information about how Washington has done the same thing. Albeit, the Biden administration has seemingly found a loophole and intends to provide groups supporting Palestinians with hundreds of millions of dollars.

By failing to note the Taylor Force Act, WaPo and The Associated Press can proceed to blithely spread the following:
For the Palestinians, the families of attackers are widely seen as victims of a half century of Israeli occupation. The Palestinians say that many Palestinians are unfairly held by Israel and that the number of prisoners involved in deadly attacks is a small percentage of those aided by the fund.

It is difficult to fathom how any news article could include an apparent justification for terrorism.

Moreover, the problem is widespread. Research conducted by HonestReporting shows that between July 6 and July 12, the term “Taylor Force Act” was included a total of 52 times in news items and television segments. Over the same period, “Taylor Force Act” and “Israel” were mentioned in the same article or segment a mere 15 times. When you add “terror” to the mix, there were only five results.

By uncritically relaying the PA’s stance on Pay-for-Slay, news organizations are proving to be obstacles to the kind of transparency needed to facilitate a robust public debate on the issue of aid to the Palestinian people — especially regarding where it winds up.

HonestReporting Follow-Up: Tala Halawa, Who Tweeted ‘#HitlerWasRight’, Blames ‘Pro-Israel Mob’ For Dismissal
In May, a tweet by HonestReporting exposing then-BBC Monitoring journalist Tala Halawa as having previously shared deeply antisemitic sentiments on social media went viral. One of her tweets included the hashtag “#HitlerWasRight.”

As a result, dozens of news outlets around the world covered the story, and the BBC thereafter announced that it had opened an investigation. This was followed a few weeks later by a statement that Halawa “no longer works for the BBC.”

Now, Halawa has responded on social media, blaming her dismissal on a “pro-Israel mob.”

The statement, shared on Halawa’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, accuses the BBC of “capitulating to pressure from external pro-Israel interest groups and right-wing media outlets determined to eliminate Palestinians from public life.”

Instead of expressing regret and admitting that she had disseminated deeply antisemitic content on numerous occasions, Halawa characterized herself as merely “a young Palestinian woman tweeting in the heat of the moment” and falsely framed her firing as “based on a single offensive and ignorant tweet.”

In fact, numerous tweets were found on Halawa’s Twitter account, which has since been deleted and set up anew. The @GnasherJew Twitter account, which investigates and exposes Jew-haters, documented numerous examples of antisemitism by Halawa, including tweets mocking the Holocaust and the massacre of Jews during prayers in Jerusalem as well as a post calling for the relocation of Israel to within America.

Nevertheless, Halawa refused to acknowledge the full extent of her antisemitic posts, instead depicting her dismissal as arising from a “trend of bad-faith intimidation of reporters from the region by hostile actors and organised public flogging.”

Doubling down, Halawa claimed this was “aimed at setting the parameters of acceptable journalism to suit Israel, and policing international media to maintain institutional pro-Israel bias.”

Judge grants CAA petition to declare Tony Greenstein legally bankrupt over legal costs in his humiliating failed “notorious antisemite” defamation claim
A judge has today declared Tony Greenstein legally bankrupt in a brief hearing that follows his predictable failure to comply with court orders to pay Campaign Against Antisemitism tens of thousands of pounds after his humiliating failed defamation claim against us.

Mr Greenstein has been ordered by judges to pay Campaign Against Antisemitism £81,854, over a libel claim brought by Mr Greenstein after we called him a “notorious antisemite”. In an example of litigation humiliatingly backfiring, the High Court struck out Mr Greenstein’s libel claim against us, ruling that it was permissible for us to call the co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and expelled Labour Party member a “notorious antisemite” in articles on our website. Mr Greenstein then brought an appeal against aspects of the High Court ruling, which he also lost earlier this month.

Following an Insolvency and Companies Court hearing today that lasted only a quarter of an hour, Judge Catherine Burton, noting that Mr Greenstein has been properly served and failed to attend or make representations, concluded proceedings by saying: “I make a bankruptcy order this day against Tony Greenstein at 10:46am.”

Today’s declaration makes it far more difficult for Mr Greenstein to litigate against individuals and organisations, as he is wont to do.

Additionally, it means that Mr Greenstein may now meet the criteria for automatic disqualification as a charity trustee. We have written to the Charity Commission in order to notify them of his bankruptcy order given that he is listed as a trustee of The Brighton Trust, formerly known as the “Trust 4 Unpopular Causes”.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “The wheels of justice may grind slow at times, but they grind sure. Our defamation win against Tony Greenstein secured our ability to call out anti-Jewish racism in order to combat it. The bankruptcy order against Mr Greenstein will greatly reduce his capacity to litigate against others without any ability or intention to pay when he loses. Today’s ruling should serve as a warning to others that we will be unrelenting in the pursuit of justice for the Jewish community.”
Erasing Years of Work, California Bill Revives Anti-Semitic Ethnic Studies Curriculum
AMCHA Initiative Director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin testified on Wednesday before the California Senate Education Committee against AB 101, a bill mandating an ethnic studies high school graduation requirement that allows school districts to adopt any ethnic studies curriculum, including the initial overtly antisemitic first draft of the state-mandated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) roundly rejected by all Jewish communal organizations, the Legislative Jewish Caucus, Governor Newsom, and the State Board of Education.

Rossman-Benjamin exposes in her testimony compelling evidence that if AB 101 becomes law, most school districts in the state will adopt some version of the overtly anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist first draft of the state-mandated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum that was rejected by the State Board of Education in 2019, and she points out that some school districts, such as Hayward Unified, have already committed to adopting and implementing a version of the antisemitic draft and others are poised to follow suit. Here are excerpts from her testimony:
I am representing 60 organizations and thousands of members and supporters of the California Jewish community who are deeply concerned about AB 101, and the enormously harmful impact we believe it will have on Jewish students if it becomes law.

Although the bill recommends that school districts adopt the SBE-approved model curriculum as the basis for the required courses, it also allows for the use of any curriculum approved by a school district, even the rejected, the overtly antisemitic and anti-Zionist first draft that outraged the Jewish community, the Legislative Jewish Caucus and the Governor.

However, our organizations have provided you with compelling evidence that the rejected first draft — or an even more extreme version — will likely be adopted and implemented by most school districts if the bill becomes law.

The original authors of that first draft have been carrying out a successful campaign to promote their curriculum – including its anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist lessons — throughout the state. They’ve garnered support from the two biggest teachers unions, as well as from the state’s higher education ethnic studies community. They’ve also been vigorously lobbying individual school districts and some, such as Hayward Unified, have already adopted it. If AB 101 becomes law, we believe most school districts will follow suit.

Especially now, as violence in the Middle East is spilling over into vicious attacks on Jews all over the world, including in California, we believe AB 101 directly threatens the safety and well-being of Jewish students in our state, and we urge you to vote NO on this bill.
Anti-Semitic 5th grade lesson claims Israel stole its land, mirrors Hamas propaganda
State Superintendent pulls the content
OSPI confirmed to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that they edited out the comparison from the curriculum document. The move came after I asked if Superintendent Chris Reykdal thought the comparison was appropriate.

“As we immediately read it, [we] said this is completely inappropriate and took it down,” Superintendent Chris Reykdal explained on the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Reykdal said it was posted online about a decade ago by a contractor who wrote lesson plans for the office. He acknowledges he does not know how many teachers used the lesson. But that is one reason why he said he took it down quickly: to keep it from being used.

“This is one of those places where I think two people like you and I who don’t always see the world similarly, certainly see the devastating effects of anti-Semitism. And it comes in extreme forms like a tragic shooting in Seattle, but it comes in smaller forms too, like the implicit bias of a lesson plan that somebody might have thought 10 years ago was innocent,” Reykdal told me.

The curriculum itself is mandated by the state Legislature and is called Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State (STI).

The superintendent said his office will now institute a “bias and sensitivity review process… to this curriculum going forward.”
I Resigned from the CUNY Union Because of Its Anti-Semitism
Last week, with deep regret, I resigned from the Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York (PSC-CUNY) due to its anti-Semitism. I joined the union when I became a professor of Jewish studies at Hunter College in 2018. I was extremely proud to do so, as union organizing was in my blood. My great-grandfather helped found the Jewish Labor Committee in 1934, whose focus was to organize Jewish workers and to combat the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe.

On June 10, the PSC-CUNY approved a resolution which called Israel a "settler colonial state" that was massacring Palestinians and endorsed the BDS movement. The resolution did not mention Jewish casualties at all and did not mention Hamas, whose charter contains the chilling injunction to wipe out all Jews from the Middle East.

It seems to me that the American country club anti-Semitism of the 1950s and 1960s has found its new expression in BDS. You can tell yourself that you're not actually a racist, you just don't like the only country in the world where Jews are in a majority.

My great-grandfather believed that in the U.S., all workers were united in their desire to fight hatred, intolerance and anti-Semitism. He would have been stunned to discover that this branch of the worker's movement was being used to push an agenda that was making Jewish faculty and students feel unwelcome, hated and afraid.
Oregon Professor Sues University for Firing After He Aired Concerns of Sexual Harassment, Antisemitism Among Senior Staff
A Jewish professor who was fired in April from Oregon’s Linfield University has brought a $4 million lawsuit against the college, claiming that he was retaliated against for exposing sexual abuse and antisemitic harassment by the school’s leadership.

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner — who was a tenured English professor at Linfield University in McMinnville, Oregon — is alleging breach of contract, retaliation and an attempt to “silence” his disclosures of gross misconduct, according to the legal complaint.

After becoming a university trustee in 2019, the complaint said, Pollack-Pelzner raised concerns about several trustees accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault. In one case, a trustee who later resigned was indicted on charges of abusing four students.

Pollack-Pelzner claims he asked the university address the problem with more training and other measures, but was rebuffed by President Miles Davis, who asked him to withdraw a faculty report detailing other allegations of harassment.

Davis later accused Pollack-Pelzner of pursuing a “secret agenda” aimed at “destroying Linfield from within.” That same day, Davis is said to have asked in a faculty meeting why several Linfield professors had been “so concerned” with swastikas and other racist and antisemitic graffiti recently discovered on campus.

In the past, Pollack-Pelzner also alleged, Davis had made antisemitic remarks about “Jewish noses” during a discussion of Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.”

The scholar’s firing in April triggered a wave of support from hundreds of professors nationwide, who signed a petition demanding an investigation of his dismissal.
Post Office worker demands Jewish man denounce Israel in order to receive biometric residence permit
A post office worker has reportedly demanded that a Jewish man denounce Israel in order to receive his biometric residence permit.

Johnathan Levartovsky, 30, is a new Israeli Jewish immigrant to the UK who was required by law to collect his permit in order to prove his legal residency in the country. The permit also contains a new immigrant’s national insurance number, enabling them to work and entitling them to public services. Mr Levartovsky has come to the UK on a Skilled Worker visa as a post-doctoral researcher in the chemical engineering department of a leading London university, where he will be funded by the Faraday Institute in the field of battery research.

On 5th July, less than a week after arriving in the UK, Mr Levartovsky visited the Post Office on Euston Road in King’s Cross to collect his permit and was reportedly treated with suspicion by the clerk, who, he claims, provided minimal assistance. He eventually asked the clerk why he was treating him “like a criminal”, to which the clerk reportedly responded that it was because he is a “criminal” and is “murdering Palestinians”.

He then told Mr Levartovsky that he would not provide him with service, and only after Mr Levartovsky begged him to give him his documents and was forced to assent to the clerk’s inflammatory opinions that the clerk provided the documents. Mr Levartovsky then told him that he is a racist and that he would report him.

The clerk refused to provide his name – and his colleague also declined to disclose it – but was reportedly in his forties or fifties and of Asian or Middle Eastern descent. He was the only male working in the post office at the time; his colleague, a woman, witnessed the exchange.

Mr Levartovsky has reported the incident to the police, who are investigating. He has also written to his local MP, Sir Keir Starmer, who is also the leader of the Labour Party.
LAUSD School Board Unanimously Passes Resolution Condemning Antisemitism
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school board unanimously passed a resolution on July 13 condemning antisemitism, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

The resolution, which was introduced by School Board Member Scott Mark Schmerelson, stated that “there has been a significant rise in hate crimes here in Los Angeles and across the country over the last four years against many racial, ethnic, religious, and other minority groups” and acknowledged that “reports of white supremacist, anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish, and anti-Israeli graffiti, bullying, harassment, and violence on LAUSD campuses has been on the rise for the past four years, and administrators, teachers, and student leaders need updated and readily available training and resources to prevent and address anti-Semitism in all its forms.” The resolution also noted that there has been a recent spike in antisemitic attacks and vandalism following the recent escalation between Israel and Hamas.

“The Board of Education denounces the rise in anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish, and anti-Israeli rhetoric and hate-motivated crimes and incidents that denigrate Jewish students and staff LAUSD schools and in the communities served by LAUSD in order for every LAUSD campus and office to be a safe and welcoming environment for all students, staff, and families,” the resolution stated, adding that there need to be “updated bulletins, curricular and instructional resources, and training for teachers, staff, administrators, students, and parents to address and prevent anti-Semitism and respond when anti-Semitic vandalism, bullying, harassment, or violence occurs either on campus or in the community, including specific reference to anti-Semitism in the mandated bulletins training at the start of each school year.”

The resolution concluded with a directive for the LAUSD superintendent to “direct all schools and offices to affirm the rights of Jewish students, staff, and families and to report acts of anti-Semitism in schools and the workplace” and to have their curriculum updated “in the areas of Jewish history and culture and the Holocaust” with input from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Simon Wiesenthal Center, and other organizations and experts.

Jewish groups praised the LAUSD school board for the resolution.

Illinois investigates company for support of antisemitic BDS campaign
The Illinois Investment Policy Board committee on Israel boycott restrictions launched a formal inquiry into the Chicago-based multinational investor company Morningstar for alleged violation of its anti-BDS law.

BDS is an abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.

According to the Board meeting agenda, the item that covers Morningstar states "Address updates (if any) or hearing (as applicable) as to Israel Boycott restricted company list."

The agenda dated March 10 was recently published by the Illinois Investment Policy Board. The Jerusalem Post sent press queries to Morningstar and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Wednesday.

In January, the Post reported that the prominent investment organization JLens, which focuses on Jewish investments, placed Morningstar on its “Do Not Invest” list because the firm supports the BDS movement.
New York Times Video Depicts Israelis as Having ‘Forced’ Foreign Laborer to Work Under Rocket Fire
More of the storytelling in the video is then carried by titles that are strangely not present in the Times’ online transcript: “On May 18, two Thai laborers in Moshav Ohad were killed by a military strike from Gaza. Hamas says its attacks during the war were in response to Israeli aggressions, starting with Israeli police raids and evictions in East Jerusalem. Thawon Seeharach is now back in Thailand. His former employers in Moshav Ohad could not be reached for comment.”

That’s all odd. Why doesn’t the Times press Hamas on how or why it decided that shooting rockets at Thai agricultural workers or other Israeli civilian targets is a justifiable “response” to Israeli actions? If Israeli rockets were falling, the Times would be rounding up international law “experts” to speculate about it being a possible war crime. The Hamas rockets here don’t get that treatment.

On the “forced to work” angle, the Israeli foreign ministry website says that one of the two Thai workers killed, ​Sikharin Sangamram, “was on a work break with other members of his group at Moshav Ohad when their residential compound received a direct hit.” The Times doesn’t mention that.

No one should be “forced” to work under any conditions — that is slavery. But leave it to the New York Times to find a way, somehow, to turn a story about an Islamist terrorist group bombing Israeli civilian targets into a story about the alleged cruelty of Israeli bosses. Even in a story about Israeli victims, the Times manages to find a way to portray Israelis as villains.
The Financial Times’ Next-generation Palestinian Activist: ‘Israel is a Child Killing Entity’
On July 12, the Financial Times (FT) ran a story titled, “‘We live in a new era’: the next generation of Palestinian activists,” which portrayed “young activists” who supposedly work to unite Palestinians in the West Bank with Arabs living in Israel. The piece mainly focuses on Mohammed el-Kurd, a writer who has denounced Jewish Israelis who are seeking to reclaim ownership of properties in the eastern part of Jerusalem that were confiscated from them or their families between 1948 and 1967 when Jordan occupied the West Bank, including the holy city.

El-Kurd and his sister Muna live in one of these properties in the neighborhood of Shimon Hatzaddik/Sheikh Jarrah, and both were recently arrested for participating in violent protests essentially calling for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the area. That, in and of itself, is revealing — and, indeed, el-Kurd is seemingly an antisemite who in reality works to preclude the possibility of enhanced coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

For example, El-Kurd has called the Israel Defense Forces “sadistic & bloodthirsty,” a slanderous charge reminiscent of medieval antisemitic libels. Similarly, he has said that the Jewish state “kills,” “blows up,” “burns” and “tortures” children in order to “instill terror” in them (see here, here, here and here). The so-called activist, which, according to the FT article is a “hero to many young people around the region,” has gone so far as to describe Israel as a “child killing entity” — a clear example of Jew-hatred according to the widely adopted IHRA definition.

In an even more repugnant Twitter post, El-Kurd claimed — without evidence — that “Holocaust survivors” threw Molotov cocktails at his home. He also accused a Hong Kong-based Jewish author of “ethnically cleansing” and “Kristallnachting” Palestinians, the latter being a reference to the Nazi-initiated pogrom in Germany in 1938 that some historians mark as the beginning of the genocide of some 6 million Jews mostly during World War II.

Furthermore, while El-Kurd’s claim to fame is that he “reports” on happenings in Jerusalem, he often simply disseminates lies. On May 10, for instance, El-Kurd posted a video to Twitter that he claimed proved Israelis were “readying themselves” to “invade” the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

But the clip actually showed Jews praying at the Western Wall.
Vanity Fair’s “Hive” Publishes One-Sided Photo Spread of Destruction in Gaza
When Vanity Fair launched “the Hive” in 2016, the publication described its new project as being “devoted to Wall Street, Washington, and Silicon Valley.” Yet, like the music magazine Rolling Stone and the teen fashion magazine Teen Vogue, it hasn’t let its main mission preclude it from jumping on the anti-Israel bandwagon. A July 1 photo essay by Peter Van Agtmael titled “‘What Choice Do We Have But To Be Resilient?’: Scenes of Daily Life in Gaza,” departed from the Hive’s stated mission of “covering business, technology, and politics, and the egos at play in each,” and “zeroing in on the intersection of money and power.”

The photo essay minimizes the effect of the 2021 Gaza war on Israel, portraying Palestinians as the war’s only victims and all but ignoring terrorism emanating from Gaza – the only two photos of Israel show Israelis at the beach. At the very end of the piece, the last written paragraph provides a clue as to why.

Van Agtmael quotes Issam Adwan, an employee of the NGO We Are Not Numbers, though he doesn’t otherwise give any information as to the extent of the group’s involvement. Did We Are Not Numbers give Van Agtmael his tour? Did they suggest to him where he should go and where he should not go? Did they give him helpful suggestions on what to photograph? We really don’t know.

What we do know is that We Are Not Numbers is a project of Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor – a group that is chaired by Richard Falk.

Richard Falk is a 9/11 truther who was condemned in 2011 by then-British Prime Minister David Cameron for publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon, and in 2012 by the U.K. Foreign Office, as CAMERA has written previously, “for providing a cover endorsement for an anti-Semitic tract called ‘The Wandering Who’ that compared Jews to Nazis.” More recently, Falk was the author of a UN report about Israel that was so biased, that the UN itself rejected it. According to UN Watch, “As the UN’s rapporteur on Palestine, Falk was so extreme in his support for the Hamas terrorist organization that even the Palestinian Authority tried to remove him, on grounds that he was a ‘partisan of Hamas.’”
New York Times Downplays Severity of Violence During First Palestinian Intifada
The New York Times recently produced an obituary for Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Ahmed Jibril, who was responsible for a series of airplane hijackings, kidnappings and murders in the 1970s and ’80s. While the article, penned by Alex Traub, did not obscure Jibril’s blood-soaked history, one passage in particular stood out:
Many commentators later described that event [the “Night of the Gliders”] as helping galvanize Palestinians at the outset of the First Intifada, or uprising, a period of rock-throwing protests against the Israeli occupation. Its immediate spark came about a month after Mr. Jibril’s attack, when an Israeli army vehicle killed four Palestinians at a refugee camp.”

For years, the prevailing narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been characterized by a David versus Goliath paradigm, with downtrodden Palestinians facing a mighty Israeli military machine. Palestinian terrorists such as Leila Khaled are frequently the subject of romanticized coverage, depicted as icons or “Palestinian personalities” despite their documented incitement to murder innocent Israelis and destroy the Jewish state.

The First Palestinian Intifada was, arguably, when this distortion of reality began. Stirring images of rock-throwing youths facing armed Israeli troops and tanks were widely disseminated in media reports around the world.

But these pictures only told part of the story.

While guns can be lethal, so too are rocks when hurled at cars or dropped from heights at passersby. Not that rudimentary weapons such as stones were the only ones deployed by Palestinians.

Neither were Israeli soldiers their only targets. Though media reports such as the NYT’s obituary tend to frame the First Intifada’s extreme violence as a form of “protest against the Israeli occupation,” as if Palestinians engaged only with Israeli soldiers, this is far from the truth. Between 1987 and 1993, more Israeli civilians were killed than troops and other security personnel (175 to 102).
Responding to our complaint, 5 Pillars retracts op-ed promoting violence
Earlier in the week, we posted about an op-ed by Abdel Bari-Atwan at the British Muslim news site 5 Pillars which praised Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israel as “heroic”, and argued that it’s the duty of “all Muslims and Arabs” to join the terror group’s violent resistance against the Jewish state.

As we observed in our post, the piece arguably represents one of the clearest examples of a mainstream* English-language British media outlet praising a proscribed terror group and inciting violence we’ve ever come across. (*5 Pillars is regulated by IMPRESS)

We sent an email to 5 Pillars’ editor, asking if he was prepared to defend their decision to publish such a call to arms, and reminding him that, under the under the Terrorism Act of 2000, “it is illegal to make statements in support of a terrorist organisation”.

Today, we received a response notifying us that, in light of our complaint, they made the decision to fully retract the article.

Here’s what you see now when you open the link.
Congress Doubles Funding Request for Assistance to Holocaust Survivors
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education recommended a $10 million funding increase on Tuesday for the Holocaust Survivor Assistance Program (HASP) for the fiscal year 2022.

According to a news release from the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the program is a public-private partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living, JFNA and community-based health and supportive-services providers working to address the unique needs of the country’s remaining Holocaust survivors.

According to the release, approximately one-third of Holocaust survivors in the United States—estimated to be 80,000 in 2019—live in poverty with an increased risk for depression, social isolation and inadequate medical care.

JFNA, which advocated for the increase, hailed subcommittee chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-Okla.) for including the funding increase in their draft bill, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) for championing the funding request.

Auschwitz Museum condemns Irish politician's Holocaust comparison
The Auschwitz Museum has criticized Irish politician Matthew McGrath for comparing COVID-19 certificates to Nazi Germany.

Speaking to media, according to the Irish Examiner, the Independent delegate to Ireland's lower house of Parliament said: "Is that where we've come to now – back to 1933 in Germany? We'll be all tagged in yellow with the mark of the beast on us – is that where we're going?"

When challenged by an Irish Examiner journalist as to whether the comparison was appropriate, McGrath replied that, "If you study history – and I'm not a historian – you can see what happened in Germany.

"There are huge correlations. It's exactly the same if you want to study it – exactly the same – restriction of movements, couldn't go where they wanted to go, treated like..." he said, not completing his thought.

"I'm comparing what went on in early Germany – the people had such fear and that's what happened – so I am comparing, yeah," the Tipperary TD (assembly delegate) said. "That's for me to compare and for anyone else who wants to read history, [to] make their own decisions on it." McGrath has previously made Holocaust and Nazi comparisons referencing the pandemic.

Speaking in the Dáil, the lower house of Parliament, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin asked McGrath to "refrain from his frequent use of language" like "Nazis" and "totalitarianism."
Court to Sentence Welsh Man Who Defaced War Memorial With Insults at Holocaust Victims and British Soldiers
A UK man with a previous record of antisemitic harassment has appeared in court, charged with defacing a war memorial in a coastal town in North Wales.

Gareth Bradley, 31, a resident of the Welsh town of Rhyl, was charged with having vandalized the memorial with a series of offensive messages that insulted Jewish victims of the Holocaust, along with British service personnel who lost their lives in both World Wars.

Images of the damaged memorial showed that among the messages daubed by Bradley were the words “choke on chlorine, Tommy” — referring to the use of poison gas and other chemical weapons during World War I — and the slogan “this is the time for the Reich” in badly-written German. A Nazi swastika and the insignia of the SS were also scrawled on the memorial.

Addressing Llandudno court on Monday, prosecutor James Neary said that Bradley had previously targeted a member of the Jewish community. He argued that the Bradley’s latest crime warranted sentencing by a crown court judge.

Craig Hutchinson, a lawyer for Bradley, said that his client had been compulsorily placed in a mental hospital under the terms of the British Mental Health Act and that his condition had improved.
Hastings Council reportedly refuses to condemn antisemitic chanting on town’s streets
Hastings Council has reportedly refused to condemn calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

The chant, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, which only makes sense as a call for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state – and its replacement with a State of Palestine – and is thus an attempt to deny Jews, uniquely, the right to self-determination, was heard in an anti-Israel rally in Hastings town centre in May.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” is an example of antisemitism.

Hastings Borough Council, which is led by the Labour Party, adopted the Definition last year after a campaign by Dany Louise, a councillor who had bravely resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism.

Ms Louise, no longer a councillor, called on the Council to implement the Definition and condemn the recent chanting, which she described as “naked antisemitism on the streets of Hastings.” Ms Louise told Campaign Against Antisemitism that two other residents (one Jewish, one not) also sent in written questions to the Council on the same subject, but the Chief Legal Officer rejected all three questions late enough not to leave time for revised questions to be submitted.

The Officer wrote to her: “I have considered your question in accordance with…the Constitution and decided to reject your question as it is not about a matter for which the Council has a responsibility, power, duty or function.”

Cryptic 2,700 year-old pig skeleton found in Jerusalem’s City of David
The full skeleton of a pig has been found in a building dating back to some 2,700 years ago in the City of David in Jerusalem, just a few dozen meters from the Temple Mount, a new paper published in the latest issue of the academic journal Near Eastern Archaeology. And despite the strong prohibition against consuming pork dictated by Jewish laws, it was most likely there to be eaten, Dr. Joe Uziel, a senior archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority and one of the authors of the study said.

“We were excavating on the eastern slopes of the City of David, and we uncovered a building dating back to the second half of the Iron Age, also known as the First Temple period,” Uziel said. “We began exposing one of the rooms, where we saw several vessels smashed on the floor and soon we found the skeleton of a small animal wedged between the wall and the vessels.”

At first, the researchers were not sure which type of animal they had encountered.

“We are archaeologists, this is not our expertise,” Uziel said. For this reason, they consulted with Dr. Lidar Sapir-Hen, an archaeozoology expert from Tel Aviv University.

“She was able to tell us that it was a pig just by looking at a picture of a skeleton,” Uziel noted.
Israeli team wins world debate championship for third year in a row
An Israeli team from Tel Aviv University won the World Universities Debating Championship on Wednesday night.

Gil Peled and Assaph Hannany, who competed in the English Second Language (ESL) side of the debate - rather than the open competition, available to native and second-language English speakers alike - came out on top after a grueling week with 12 rounds of nonstop argumentation.

The competition was hosted by the Korean debate circuit, held virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Another group, Lior Sokol and Tamar Ben Meir of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, made it to the quarter-finals of the open competition. Dan Lahav, a former member of the Tel Aviv Debate Society, was chosen to be the chief adjudicator of the competition.

Some 30 debaters from seven Israeli universities competed in the championship.
NBC Olympics Chooses Israeli Ad Manager Innovid for Production of Tokyo Games
NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Israeli ad provider Innovid to provide ad-management solutions for its presentation of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, Japan, which are taking place July 24-Aug. 9, NBC Olympics and Innovid announced on Thursday.

Innovid will manage third-party ads across NBC Olympics’ leading CTV apps, including NBC Sports and the Olympic Channel, using the Innovid-powered Olympics Ad Manager.

The service will be powered by Innovid as part of a new Olympics advertising suite, including NBCUniversal’s previously announced Olympics Ad Engine, which applies human curation, machine learning and computer vision to historical Olympic ad performance and data, and applies these learnings to new scripts, storyboards or rough cuts of ads, to make suggestions on how these ads can be modified for greater impact.

“As an independent ad server built for television, Innovid is making a big investment in the technology to power this next wave of streaming content—live TV,” said Innovid Co-Founder and CTO Tal Chalozin. “As the entry point for the marketing community into the Olympics, we’re excited to solve for the complexities of live TV on streaming and the opportunity to continue raising the bar for AVOD with NBCU.”
Israeli Drone Tech Firm to Help Secure Dubai During World Expo
Israeli drone technology company Airobotics has struck a deal to help Dubai police make the city a safer place for residents and visitors ahead of a regional business conference.

Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum unveiled on Wednesday the Drone Box, an unmanned aerial system made by Airobotics to help Dubai police improve operational effectiveness and reduce emergency response time.

“During my visit to the Dubai Police Headquarters, we launched Drone Box, a platform to dispatch drones across Dubai to reduce response time to criminal and traffic reports from 4.4 minutes to 1 minute,” he said in a Twitter post.

The new drone system will officially launch during Expo 2020 Dubai, scheduled in October and planned to run for six months. The conference – the first World Expo ever hosted in region – is expected to draw more than 200 participants including nations, multilateral organizations, businesses and educational institutions.

Each drone will cover an area of about 19 square miles, with the project set to cover the entire city.

Jon Medved, CEO of Israel’s OurCrowd and an investor in Airobotics, said, “We are proud that millions of tourists, including scores of officials and heads of state who are expected to attend this year’s World Expo in Dubai, will benefit from the Airobotics system. This is truly the best stage on which to demonstrate the capabilities of the Drone Box, which can be applied in tens of thousands of cities around the world.”
Yad Vashem installs synagogue stained glass window that survived Holocaust
A set of stained-glass windows that once hung in Assen are now hanging in Yad Vashem's synagogue some eighty years after the start of World War II as a reminder of the once thriving Jewish community in Holland.

In the beginning of the 1930s, Abraham van Oosten began working on the stained-glass windows for his local synagogue, and they were installed in 1932 in Assen. Van Oosten died in 1937, leaving behind his wife Heintje and their three children, Gonda, Leo and Johanna.

In 1940, the Germans occupied Holland and began imposing anti-Jewish legislation throughout the country. Leo van Oosten was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where he perished.

Two years later, in October, the Jews of Assen were deported to the Westerbork transit camp, including Heintje and the van Oosten daughters. There, Gonda met and married Asher Gerlich, a Zionist pioneer. They were deported to Bergen-Belsen where they managed to survive despite terrible conditions. Gonda's mother and sister were sent to Auschwitz where they died.
Florida Officials Thank IDF Rescue Team at Florida Collapse Site


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