Monday, July 19, 2021

07/19 Links Pt2: Kenneth Roth says Israel is responsible for rise in antisemitism; David Collier: Make no mistake – Wikipedia is at war with the Jews

From Ian:

Kenneth Roth says Israel is responsible for rise in antisemitism
The executive director of one of the world's leading international human rights organisations has been criticised after suggesting Israel is responsible for the rise in antisemitic incidents during the recent Gaza conflict.

Writing on Twitter, Human Righst Watch director Kenneth Roth said: “Antisemitism is always wrong, and it long preceded the creation of Israel, but the surge in UK antisemitic incidents during the recent Gaza conflict gives the lie to those who pretend that the Israeli government's conduct doesn't affect antisemitism.”

His tweet accompanied a link to an article in Ha'aretz about the fact antisemitism rose to record levels according to data collected by the Community Security Trust.

A report by CST stated that 628 antisemitic incidents were recorded during the one-period between May 8 and June 7, a rise of 365 percent over April and “the highest number CST has ever recorded in any month-long period.”

Mr Roth’s tweet was widely condemned as people pointed out that he would not look to place the blame on any other minority community facing an increase in hate crime.

Instead of apologising, he went further to defend his comments.

In another tweet he said: “Interesting how many people pretend that this tweet justifies antisemitism (it doesn't and I don't under any circumstances) rather than address the correlation noted in the Haaretz article between recent Israeli government conduct in Gaza and the rise of UK antisemitic incidents.”

David Collier: Make no mistake – Wikipedia is at war with the Jews
Larry Sanger, the man who co-founded Wikipedia recently said that ‘nobody should trust Wikipedia.’ Sanger describes the Wikipedia environment – in which conservative voices are stifled or banned and criticism of leftist ideology – where the argument does appear – reads like a defence counsel’s brief.

This is damning criticism from a man who would know better than most. But Sanger only gets part of the picture. He assesses a Wikipedia environment in which two sides – both powerful are battling – with one having the upper hand. This leads to an inevitable and clear bias and editorial domination – which is what Sanger references. But Sanger fails to comprehend the true scale of the problem. For example – in a situation in which one side is vastly numerically superior to the other.

The Jews are the quintessential minority group. The enemies of the Jews far outnumber them. Islamists. far-left activists and neo-Nazis are all out there writing Wikipedia edits. The pages on Wikipedia that relate to the Jews or Israel are often the target.

Wikipedia is at war with the Jews. Make no mistake about this.

Wikipedia is the 13th most visited website in the world. It probably influences more people than any other source on the planet. This means it is impossible to overstate the damage the website is doing. All those children having their ideas influenced by Wikipedia today – are the leaders of tomorrow.

Every Wikipedia page that deals with the history of Jews or Israel – is tainted. The website spreads ‘fake news’ and provides legitimacy to antisemitic arguments. Toxic academics like David Miller provide written source material, extremist websites such as Electronic Intifada produce conspiracy theories and an army of Islamist / hard-left Wikipedia editors spend all their time reworking history. It is a co-dependent alliance that pushes lies ever further into the mainstream. Take the recent push to revise education material in Scotland to provide a ‘pro-Palestinian’ narrative – it is another step in this decades old strategy. If the network of toxic academics was not there – if the rabidly antisemitic NGOs were not making their outrageous claims – if Wikipedia had not been overrun by Islamists and hard-left activists – then there would not be enough momentum for the push to poison young minds in Scotland.

If we spend all our time putting out the fires (school material in Scotland) – rather than dealing with the sources of the problem (academia, Wikipedia) – we will be fighting a battle we will lose.
What is anti-Zionism?
The violence perpetrated against Jewish worshippers at the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av, the day when the Jewish people mourn the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem, was a textbook example of anti-Zionism. So, too, were the denunciations of the simple act of Jews praying or even being at their holiest site from Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and other Arab leaders.

What is anti-Zionism? What were those who pelted stones at Jews who did nothing more offensive than reciting a Psalm expressing?

Put simply, anti-Zionism is the belief that Jews do not deserve equality, either as a nation or as individuals.

On the macro-level, anti-Zionism is the belief that Jews, alone of all national groups, do not deserve the right to self-determination. There is no similar movement or ideology which seeks to end the existence of any other country in the world.

Anti-Zionism posits that things were better before the State of Israel was created, before Zionism ruined the previously cordial relations between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East.

But before the State of Israel, before Zionism, Jews were hardly treated as equals. Far from it - Jews were considered Dhimmis, second-class citizens at best, subject to many discriminatory laws. Like all minorities, Jews living under the Ottoman Empire were forced to pay the jizya tax as well as the Rav Akasi, or 'rabbi tax.' Additional rules prevented Dhimmis such as Jews from riding horses, carrying weapons, building new synagogues, and publicly displaying signs of their religion. Whether these rules were enforced depended on the rulers of the time, but they remained on the books until the mid-1800s, when the Ottoman Empire, now in decline, granted equality to its citizens, an act which was extremely controversial throughout the Middle East.

Jews were historically treated better under Ottoman and Muslim rule than they were in Christian Europe, but they were still subject discrimination, persecution, massacres, and forced conversions. A benevolent and tolerant ruler could be succeeded by a cruel one or be unable to protect his non-Muslim subjects from their Muslim neighbors.
The Boston Stabbing of a Rabbi Was Inevitable
The July 1 stabbing attack on Rabbi Shlomo Noginski in front of a Jewish day school in Boston was not a total surprise for those who have studied Jewish history and have seen the recent consequences of the demonization of Jews in Europe.

A growing and powerful leftist/Islamist (Red/Green) alliance in Europe has led to numerous attacks on Jews there. This alliance is fueled by a lethal brew of progressive ideology that dehumanizes the West and Israel, and a large influx of Muslims from antisemitic cultures. This poison has come to America. After establishing beachheads in the universities and the mainstream media, it has now captured key American institutions: the high schools, the liberal churches, and the activists of the Democratic Party.

Sadly, despite being warned for years, American Jewish leaders willfully ignored Europe’s lesson. Enchanted by left-wing utopian ideologies that deny fundamental cultural differences, fearful of risking their liberal bona fides and the cloak of “virtue” it confers, Jewish leaders have ignored the threat of Islamic Jew-hatred. They hoped to charm hostile immigrants who came from the most antisemitic cultures in the Middle East with kindness and generosity. They adopted false analogies — “we were also immigrants” and “welcome the stranger” — which confused the community. They embraced the progressive taboo against mentioning bad behavior by “vulnerable minorities,” which included keeping quiet about the threat of Muslim antisemitism.

The ADL, for example, has simply ignored the implications of its own polling data, which clearly indicate that Muslim societies are far more antisemitic than any other societies on earth.

Days before the stabbing incident, a fatal shooting of two Black Americans in another suburb of Boston was immediately labeled a hate crime, yet an Arab stabbing a rabbi in front of a Jewish day school was thought to require a thorough investigation of the motives. Why? Only because Jewish leaders in Boston neglected to educate local authorities that when an Arab attacks a rabbi in front of a Jewish day school, they should not be baffled about his motive.
Jewish Victim of Suspected Brooklyn Hate Crime: ‘They Are Not Going to Stop Me’
A Jewish man who was attacked by two men while walking to a Brooklyn synagogue on Friday spoke out for the first time on Monday, saying of his attackers, “They are not going to stop me.”

The man, identified only as Levi, was attacked from behind and robbed while walking to morning synagogue services in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Two men assaulted him, punching him in the face several times before taking off with his bag and prayer shawl.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the attack “sickening” and said the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force would investigate.

Levi, 41, recounted to the New York Post, “I was shocked. I don’t remember anything. When I looked at the video, I saw what happened,” referring to security camera footage of the attack.

“I thought it was one guy but when I saw the video, I saw that it was two guys,” he said.

“They were punching me in the face. I had blood on my face, my shirt … everything was bloody,” Levi stated. “I was shouting, ‘Help, help.’”

He added that he wants to see his attackers brought to justice, saying, “I’m not going to stop. I’m going to continue. They are not going to stop me.”
Top Canadian Jewish Group Blasts Reinstatement of Toronto Schools Employee Who Circulated Anti-Israel Material
A top Canadian Jewish group has strongly criticized the Toronto school board for refusing to discipline a school employee who circulated virulent anti-Israel material.

Javier Dávila, a Student Equity Program Advisor with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) sent emails to a local educators listserv that, the group said, called Israeli Jews “colonizers,” quoted Palestinian terrorists Laila Khaled and Ghassan Kanafani, included material justifying suicide bombings, and accused Israel of genocide.

Despite substantial pushback, Dávila announced Friday that he had been reinstated without discipline.

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn commented, “If the TDSB has really imposed no discipline in this matter, then it is sending a clear signal that it regards Jewish students, Jewish teachers, and the Jewish community as second-class constituents.”

“There is no way the TDSB would tolerate the glorification of violence against any other minority group,” he said.

Mostyn added, “It is clear that the TDSB has a serious antisemitism problem, and it is questionable whether the institution can fix it alone.”

Ben & Jerry's to boycott West Bank settlements, east Jerusalem
Well-known ice cream company Ben & Jerry's announced on Monday its plan to boycott West Bank settlements and Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, by refusing to allow its products to be sold in those areas.

"We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)," the company stated in a notice it posted on its website.

The move gives a boost to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has targeted the Vermont-based American company for the last decade.

Activist group Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine had been particularly vocal about the issue. The ice cream company, known for taking a stand on social justice issues, clarified that it was not boycotting Israel, just the "occupied Palestinian territories."

It said that it would maintain its sales relationship with areas of Israel within the pre-1967 borders. "Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement. We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready," the company explained.

The boycott language Ben & Jerry's used was vague in that it referenced the "occupied Palestinian territories" and did not mention the words "settlements" or "east Jerusalem," but the assumption can be made that these are the territories being referred to.
Unilever statement on Ben & Jerry's decision
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very complex and sensitive situation. As a global company, Unilever’s brands are available in more than 190 countries and in all of them, our priority is to serve consumers with essential products that contribute to their health, wellbeing and enjoyment.

We remain fully committed to our presence in Israel, where we have invested in our people, brands and business for several decades.

Ben & Jerry’s was acquired by Unilever in 2000. As part of the acquisition agreement, we have always recognised the right of the brand and its independent Board to take decisions about its social mission. We also welcome the fact that Ben & Jerry’s will stay in Israel.

BBC ignores PA condolences to terror group ‘comrades’
The death of the PFLP-GC leader Ahmed Jibril earlier this month in Damascus was not reported by the BBC in the English language but did receive coverage in Arabic. The majority of the BBC’s audience would hence be unaware of the condolences offered by various Palestinian Authority officials.

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas paid his condolences to Jibril’s replacement as PFLP-GC leader, Talal Naji, the official PA WAFA news agency reported.

“His Eminence, in a telephone call, also provided his condolences to Badr Jibril, the son of the deceased, praying to God Almighty, to cover him with his vast mercy, that [Jibril] dwell in his vast gardens, and grant his family and relatives patience and solace,” Abbas’s office said in a statement carried by WAFA.

Senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein al-Sheikh mourned Jibril’s passing on Twitter.

“Our deepest condolences to our comrades in the General Command and to the Palestinian people on the death of the Palestinian leader Ahmed Jibril,” al-Sheikh wrote.”

The most recent BBC profile of “Mr Jibril” and his organisation dates from 2002. Written by former correspondent Martin Asser, it includes a description of the terrorist organisation’s operations as “ingenious”.

The same description appears in another report by Asser written two years earlier in May 2000 which is also still available online. The caption to the main image illustrating that report claims that “Most Palestinian groups have given up the armed struggle”.
The Times abandons journalism in profile of 'angelic' Palestinian activists
Let’s begin by noting that the piece published in The Times (“The Gen Z activist twins of Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem”, July 17) by Charlotte Edwardes is not journalism. Rather, it’s pro-Palestinian advocacy published by a generally serious news outlet.

The “Gen Z activist twins of Sheikh Jarrah” profiled are Muna and Mohammed el-Kurd – the latter of whom we recently posted about in response to a similarly fawning profile in the Financial Times.

When we write that The Times piece is not journalism, we’re saying that every claim made by the Kurd siblings is accepted at face value, without even a trace of journalistic skepticism or scrutiny. The Times journalist doesn’t merely legitmise or amplify the Kurds’ narrative. It accepts it as gospel.

The opening sentences alone resembles a Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) press release:
Theirs began the way of modern movements of resistance: with Muna el-Kurd taking out her iPhone and live streaming the scenes right in front of her. Mohammed, her brother, followed suit. Two Palestinian 23-year-olds with their Apple Inc weapons, documenting the almost daily violence they witness from armed settlers and military police.

The chosen moral binary – a tale of good and evil, contrasting innocent Palestinian victims ‘resisting’ violence by “armed settlers” and “military police” – leaves absolutely no room for facts, context, balance and moral ambiguity.

Pennsylvania Man Sentenced to 18 Months in Jail for Online Threats Against Jews
A man from Lehighton, Pa., was sentenced by a US District Court judge to 18 months in prison for making Internet threats against Jews.

Corbin Kauffman, 32, received his sentencing on Tuesday after pleading guilty to one count of criminal information. He admitted that on March 13, 2019, he posted on social media a digitally created image of his hand aiming an AR-15 rifle at a group of Jewish men praying in a synagogue.

On the same day, Kauffman shared a video of the October 2018 deadly shooting at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh and uploaded a separate post in support of the 19-year-old gunman. He also posted a picture of vandalism he committed by defacing a display case at the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Center in Ocean City, Md., with white supremacist and antisemitic stickers.

Kauffman used “various aliases online to post hundreds of antisemitic, anti-black and anti-Muslim messages, images and videos,” according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

“Several of these posts … included threats to various religious and racial groups. Other posts expressed a desire to commit genocide and ‘hate crimes,’ and called for or depicted images of the killing of Jewish people, black people and Muslim people,” it said.
Holocaust survivor slams French protesters for comparing vaccine to Nazi horrors
A French Holocaust survivor has denounced anti-vaccination protesters comparing themselves to Jews who were persecuted by Nazi Germany during World War II. French officials and anti-racism groups joined the 94-year-old in expressing indignation.

As more than 100,000 people marched around France against government vaccine rules on Saturday, some demonstrators wore yellow stars recalling the ones the Nazis forced Jews to wear. Other demonstrators carried signs evoking the Auschwitz death camp or South Africa’s apartheid regime, claiming the French government was unfairly mistreating them with its anti-pandemic measures.

“You can’t imagine how much that upset me. This comparison is hateful. We must all rise up against this ignominy,” Holocaust survivor Joseph Szwarc said Sunday during a ceremony commemorating victims of antisemitic and racist acts by the French state, which collaborated with Adolf Hitler’s regime.

“I wore the star, I know what that is, I still have it in my flesh,” Szwarc, who was deported from France by the Nazis, said with tears in his eyes. “It is everyone’s duty to not allow this outrageous, antisemitic, racist wave to pass over us.”

France’s secretary of state for military affairs, who also attended the ceremony, called the protesters’ actions “intolerable and a disgrace for our republic.”
Israeli Company’s ‘Spiderman’ Technology Spins New Artificial Skin for Patients
Company: Nanomedic
Product: Spincare System
Raised: Undisclosed
Founded: 2018
Founders: Spinoff company of Nicast with no specific founders

Treating burns, wounds, and scars presents both psychological and physical hindrances. This treatment also becomes complex, costly, and can deprive a patient of the use of that limb or area. Yet one biotech company, Nanomedic Technologies, has engineered an artificial skin that is 3D-printed, is affixed directly onto a patient’s skin, and after 24-48 hours allows patients to use that area as they normally would, explained Gary Sagiv, VP of Marketing & Sales at Nanomedic.

“We have leveraged our electrospinning technology to develop a commercialized franchise handheld device for wound care that prints a nanofiber matrix directly onto a patient’s wound, via 3D printing, and treats three specific areas, primarily burns, trauma, and wound care,” Sagiv said, adding: “People quip our technology is reminiscent of Spiderman.”

Miniaturizing a product
Nanomedic’s focus is on commercializing and developing its clinical research. The company is now trialing its electrospun healing fibers matrix, which will be embedded with human skin cells to encourage tissue regeneration. The handheld device prints a nanofibrous healing matrix directly onto a patient’s wound. “For the sake of comparison, in the 1940s computers used to take up an entire room and are now sitting on your desktop; similarly we have minimized our technology. We then add to it an ampoule of polymer solution, and 3D-print that bandage onto an arm or any injured body part,” he noted. The company’s artificial bandage can treat any type of burn wounds, whether they were from chemical or electrical fires, as well as patients suffering from skiing or motorcycle accidents or with any type of physical skin abrasion. Sagiv added that it can be used for additional ailments such as diabetic foot wounds or even gunshot wounds.
Helios to hitch ride on Japan lunar lander in bid to make oxygen on Moon
Israeli startup Helios said Monday it plans to join the second and third missions to the moon of Japan’s lunar exploration firm ispace, to prove that the technology it has developed is able to produce oxygen and metals on the lunar surface.

Helios says it has developed technology that can produce oxygen needed for fuel from the lunar soil. This will make multiple and long-term missions to the Moon economically viable, as it will allow Moon colonies to “live off the land” instead of having to carry all of their fuel and other resources from Earth.

The initiative has been awarded funding from the Israeli Space Agency and the Israeli Energy Ministry to develop a system to be launched in two space missions over the next three years, the company said April.

One of the main obstacles in sending missions to the Moon is the cost of transporting items from Earth to the lunar surface. Launching rockets with cargo requires fuel; the heavier the cargo, the more fuel needed. That extra fuel adds to the weight, and this requires even more fuel. Oxygen is a vital component for fuel combustion.

Setting up a lunar base or having recurring lunar visits, as planned for the next decade by private space firms such as SpaceX, might require thousands of tons of oxygen a year used as rocket propellant.

It costs several hundred thousands of dollars per kilogram to ship anything to the Moon – making long-term missions economically unviable unless oxygen can be produced on the Moon, Helios said.

The process the firm has developed is called molten regolith electrolysis, using a soil-fed reactor. It melts the lunar soil at 1600 degrees Celsius and then, through electrolysis, creates oxygen that is stored for use.

Yodfat: The Masada You Don’t Know About
In the autumn of 66 CE, Jews came together in the ancient city of Jerusalem and rebelled against the mighty Roman Empire.

Little did they know that they had initiated a chain of events that would lead to one of the greatest catastrophes to befall the Jewish people: the destruction of the Second Temple. The doomed rebellion also marked the beginning of a long period of exile that would go on to characterize Jewish life for almost 2000 years. Recently, this tragedy was commemorated on Tisha B’Av, often regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar.

Despite the ultimate failure of the revolt against Imperial Rome, there are many awe-inspiring episodes from this pivotal moment in Jewish history. For example, there is the famous story of Masada, where a group of Jewish rebels resisted the Roman army, and then committed suicide rather than surrender.

However, not many people know about the siege of Yodfat, also known as Jotapata, where rebels held out on a hilltop town against a Roman force that numbered in the tens of thousands. If Masada was where the rebellion ended, Yodfat was where the rebellion began. The Flag of Rebellion is Raised

The town of Yodfat is located in the northern Israeli region of the Galilee. In ancient times, it was part of the northern kingdom of Israel, and was conquered by the Assyrian Empire in the 8th century BCE. It was repopulated a few centuries later by non-Jews, and in the 2nd century BCE the area came under the control of the Hasmonean kingdom, a sovereign Jewish monarchy established after the rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. The Hasmoneans populated the area with Jews and further developed the territory. Notably, this was the only time in Jewish history that Jewish rulers forcibly converted people to Judaism.

By the 1st century CE, Yodfat had become a quiet and peaceful town of around 1000-1500 people. Yodfat had many artisans, shepherds, and even its own olive press, which meant this town had wealthy inhabitants, as olive oil was a highly valued commodity. It’s difficult to imagine that this quaint town would by 67 CE be filled with thousands of Jewish refugees from nearby areas who had fled from Roman forces.

The Jewish rebellion was led by a group known as the Zealots, who were primarily based in Jerusalem. However, other groups were also involved, such as the Sicarii, who had a massive following in the Galilee, the most radically anti-Roman region in Judea. As their name suggests, the Zealots were extremely traditionalist Jews who resisted all Roman and Hellenistic influence in Judea. The Sicarii were especially violent, and were infamous for committing murder in broad daylight to publicly intimidate the Romans and their local supporters.

These rebels had many grievances against the Empire, which included excessive taxation by Roman governors and favoritism of non-Jews in Judea over Jews, as well as other offenses.