Tuesday, August 31, 2021

From Ian:

Survey: Nearly All Jewish Students and Alumni Cite Campus Antisemitism as a ‘Problem,’ With Half Saying It’s ‘Getting Worse’
Virtually all Jewish university students and alumni now feel that antisemitism on college campuses is a problem, according to a survey released on Monday by Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), with nearly half of respondents saying that the issue is worsening.

The survey of 312 enrolled students and 194 alumni of varying Jewish affiliations revealed a “shocking growth of antisemitism,” ACF claimed. 95% of respondents said that antisemitism was a problem on their current or former campus, with three-fourths characterizing it as a “very serious” problem.

Nearly 80% of survey respondents reported experiencing or hearing first-hand accounts of antisemitic hate speech; 69% avoided certain places, situations, and events for fear of being outed as a Jew, and 47% believe antisemitism on college campuses is getting worse.

ACF Executive Director Avi D. Gordon called on universities to support Jewish students and “rid their alma maters of hate.”

“These finding illuminate the troubling reality on U.S. campuses — antisemitism is increasingly a pernicious threat, with Jewish students under siege,” he said.

“Today’s universities take great pains to embrace and protect students from all races, religions, and backgrounds,” Gordon continued. “But Jewish students are often left to fend for themselves against discrimination. Administrators must take immediate steps to remedy this situation, and alumni should work with administrators, students, and allies.”

Dubbed “A Growing Threat: Antisemitism on College Campuses,” the ACF survey also included written accounts of anti-Jewish harassment, intimidation, and assault.

Said one state university student in the Midwest, “I was having a conversation with a guy with a guy in my dorm and when I mentioned I was Jewish he made a joke about gassing me and when I explained that it was hurtful and not funny he spit on me.”

“Professors often made out of hand comments that supported antisemitic conspiracy theories against Israel,” said a 25-year-old, who graduated from a private college in the southeast. “[They said] that Israelis harvest Palestinian organs or use Palestinian children as target practice.”

Canary Mission: Report on SJP University of Illinois, Chicago (August 2021)
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) has a long history of anti-Semitism.

Canary Mission's 2021 investigation of SJP UIC has revealed disturbing levels of anti-Semitic activity as far back as 2015 in the following three categories:
1. A campaign to attack and malign Chicago’s largest Jewish charity
2. An effort to bully “Zionists”
3. Spreading anti-Semitism, support for terror and hatred of Israel on social media

This report exposes the actions of 32 SJP UIC activists whose individual profile links can be found below.

SJP's Attack on Chicago’s Largest Jewish Charity
In February 2021, SJP UIC embarked on a two-month-long campaign to malign and isolate Chicago's largest philanthropic Jewish organization, the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF), Chicago’s Jewish Federation.

JUF provides food, refuge, health care, education and emergency assistance to 500,000 Chicago residents of all faiths, funding a network of over 100 agencies, schools and initiatives.

The pretext for SJP UIC’s campaign was the JUF-funded Israeli Visiting Scholars program at the School of Public Health (SPH) that featured professors from Israel's Ben Gurion University. In the course of their attacks, SJP UIC maligned the JUF, branding them as Islamophobic, racist, transphobic and homophobic.

On February 2, the SJP chapter slammed the event scheduled for February 17 featuring Israeli Professor Gabi Bin Nun. Their Instagram post urged followers to email SPH with template text [slide 3] protesting Bin Nun’s talk.

Radical Professor Uses Moderate Islam to Attack Israel
Hamas is “represented in a hysterical way,” stated Fordham University associate professor of modern Islam Sarah Eltantawi, during an August 20 webinar on “The Nexus of Anti-Palestine Campaigns and Islamophobia.” Her apologetics for Hamas were just one of several disturbing aspects in her discussion with Salam al-Marayati, the radical president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), an Islamist organization.

Eltantawi, who noted that she became MPAC communications director on September 1, 2001, spoke as part of MPAC’s online lecture series “The Palestinian Struggle: A New Approach.” Marayati recalled that Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks occurred little over a week later, after which the federal government shut down several Islamic “charity” organizations for terrorism financing, often to MPAC protests. “Most of the charities had to do with Palestine, even though Palestine had nothing to do with 9/11,” he said, although Israel’s destruction is a longstanding Al Qaeda objective.

Hamas’ 2017 public relations ploy of supposedly abandoning its genocidal charter symbolized for Eltantawi the moderation of this terrorist group, which she said served “to distract us from the bigger picture” of Israeli actions. Thereby she claimed that “moral outrage about what was happening to the Palestinians” should be “natural.” While discussing “political Islam,” she wondered absurdly “how is Hamas different in terms of some kind of idea of religion and politics” than non-terrorist Christian Zionists, who defend Israel’s right to exist.

The vehemently anti-Israel Eltantawi took a dismissive attitude to threats to Israel while discussing the late California Democratic Congressman Tom Lantos’ views on Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Lantos created in August 2001 a “big scandal because he cited the Treaty of Hudaybiya from the Prophet’s time” wherein “Muslims went back on a treaty that was signed with a Jewish tribe,” she said. Lantos correctly worried that this treaty signed with pagan Arabs could serve as a canonical Islamic precedent for betraying Israel, as Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat himself had argued. Yet she was shocked that Lantos had “argued in the U.S. Congress” that “it is impossible for Muslims to negotiate fairly with Jews” and “you can’t really trust what they say,” despite a long record of Palestinian duplicity demonstrated by Arafat.

Ed Asner died this week, aged 91, and while our politics were miles apart, his passing was not without impact on this writer. Ed’s father, you see, was from Eisiskes, Lithuania, some thirty miles away from Vasilishki, the shtetl where my maternal grandfather was born. Back then, Vashilishok, as the Jews called it, was part of Lithuania, and now it is not.

It’s funny to think that Eishyshok (as the Jews called it) and Vashilishok are no longer in the same country.  But the latter changed hands 7 times between the two world wars with the result that Vashilishok is now in Belarus. The fact that both towns were once in the same district of Lida meant that there was a great deal of interaction between the residents. So much so that when I began to research my mother’s maiden name, KOPELMAN, I was directed to a big fat coffee table book called There Once Was a World: A 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok, by Yaffa Eliach. I was told that therein I would find stories and references to the Kopelman family, and I hastened to procure a copy (I really need to replace it—the book went missing during a move between apartments, to my great distress).

This comprehensive history of the town of Eisiskes and its environs gave me a profound shock. Growing up, my late father had made sure to educate me on the Holocaust and the cruelty of the German people. But somehow I connected this only to my people, and never to my personal family. Eliach’s book once and for all disabused me of that notion.

Within the pages of There Once Was a World was the story of a Koppelman (variation of the same name) family that met a terrible end. The family of seven begged a non-Jewish farmer, a neighbor, to take them in during their attempts to escape the Nazi slaughter. The farmer hid the Koppelmans with their five children in his barn and in the middle of the night, when they were sound asleep, hacked them to death with his ax, and then fed their remains to his pigs.

A page from Eliach's book. The Koppelman children as in the story above, posing with some of their/my cousins.

In telling this story, I’m actually getting a little ahead of myself. Because the slaughter that came to Vashilishok came to Eishyshok, first. Yaffa was a little girl at the time, just 6 years old. Her family fled to Vashilishok, and took refuge with the same Koppelman family, my cousins, the ones who were later hacked to death and fed to pigs by a non-Jewish farmer.

There was so much about the Kopelman family and Vashilishok in Eliach’s book that I felt compelled to reach out to her. I found the author’s contact information and sent her a letter (snail mail!). I figured she might be too important or too busy to write back, but I had to try.

One month later, the phone rang and it was Yaffa. My letter had arrived on the eve of her current trip to Israel, and she took it as a sign that she should call me. Yaffa knew MY Kopelmans. She knew my great grandparents. She knew my grandfather and his siblings, and even my cousin Jimmy, the last male Kopelman of our line, who lives in New Kensington, Pennsylvania.  

We had a warm phone call, and later, continued to correspond and talk about Eishyshok, Vashilishok and the Vashilishker Kopelman clan. I liked to hear Yaffa’s voice and imagined I could hear my late grandfather in her slightly accented English. The historian, writer, and teacher was able to tell me many things about my ancestral shtetl. I attended a fundraiser for the shtetl museum Eliach hoped to create in Israel, where I briefly met her in person.

When Yaffa died some years back, I learned that she was to be brought to Israel for burial. My husband and I paid her the final honor of attending her funeral. Eliach left all her papers to Yad Vashem where we later attended the ceremony marking the opening of this collection. I was glad to have a chance to speak to her children and tell them how much it meant to me to correspond with and get to know their mother.

As a result of reading Yaffa’s book and getting to know her; Eishyshok, and the descendants of that town, became as dear to me as my own landsleit. My husband, knowing this, took note that the US Holocaust Museum was to present a live lecture about Eishyshok on August 19th. I saw Dov’s text just in time and tuned in as the lecture was starting.

When Ed Asner died just ten days later—possibly the most famous son of Eishyshok in popular culture—it just seemed like an amazing coincidence. I had just refreshed my memory of all things Eishyshok in that live Facebook video. I had followed the links to an interview with Yaffa Eliach, and to interviews of other Eishyshkers including a member of the Asner clan. There was something so odd about the timing of the USHMM event and the death of Ed Asner that I’m still trying to process what, if anything, it meant.

I loved watching Ed Asner on TV once upon a time. Even more so once I knew that our personal histories were connected. I even imagined I saw something of my family in his face, heard them in his voice. Why not? There were Kopelmans in Eishyshok as well as in Vashilishok. There were marriages between Eisyshkers and Vashilshkers. We may well have been related.

But then I was saddened to learn that Asner was a liberal who served on the advisory committee of the virulently anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a group with the mission of boycotting and destroying Israel. The knowledge of this ruined everything for me. No one could have been more pro-Israel than my great grandfather Kopelman, who attended the First Zionist Congress in Vienna, and was an early member of the Zionist organization, Mizrachi. He would have been livid to hear of Asner’s support for the destruction of the State of Israel, having worked so hard—and successfully so—toward its ultimate establishment.

My great grandfather KopelmanYaffa wanted this photo for her exhibition, but needed a higher resolution than I could provide.
But there is some consolation in that Asner disavowed his support for BDS in 2017, after receiving criticism in the Jewish community. Ed was to receive an award at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, and the handful of voices speaking out against him threatened to rob him of this honor. As a result, Asner released a statement clarifying his support for Israel. “I have a deep commitment to Jewish life, the Jewish people and the unity of the Jewish people worldwide,” Asner said in the statement. “I do not support BDS. I just want peace.”

In spite of any other political differences we might have had, for Ed Asner’s disavowal of BDS, at least, I commend him. The name “Ed Asner” is no longer on the advisory board of the JVP, even in memoriam. As someone with roots in the same small corner of Eastern Europe, with both our ancestors from Lida Uezd, I can only hope that Ed Asner’s change of heart regarding BDS made a difference as he stood before the judgment of the heavenly throne. 

  • Tuesday, August 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Fathi Al-Balawi Secondary School for Boys was re-opened after it suffered damage during the May Gaza war.

It was said to have been "subjected to bombing and destruction by the Israeli war machine."

Here is what it looks like now:

I don't have any photos of the inside damage to see if the "spray pattern" of shrapnel characteristic of Gaza rockets can be seen, but this looks like it came from a fairly small rocket. 

Given that Israel doesn't aim airstrikes at schools unless there is clear evidence of a military target there, and when they do target something or someone they will use a much larger explosive than this, I believe that this school was hit by a rocket that came from one of the Gaza terror groups, one of hundreds that fell short in Gaza.

From Ian:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Joe Biden is deaf, dumb and blind to the chaos the US has unleashed
In the eyes of the Taliban, the Afghans who worked with the Nato-backed Afghan government and those who worked in any capacity with US armed forces are traitors. The Taliban have already begun the work of retribution. Other jihadi and tribal groups in Afghanistan will be glad to lend a hand.

We’ve seen this throughout history. Think back to the French-Algerian war in the mid-20th century. There was a group of French citizens living in Algeria, the pieds-noirs, who supported the French in the war. There was another group of Algerian Muslims who supported the French too, known as the harkis. When war broke out, both groups were viewed as enemy collaborators by the Algerian Front de Libération nationale. When the French withdrew, thousands of pieds-noirs and harkis managed to escape to France, but those left behind were hunted down and forced to face the Algerian nationals alone. In 2012, then French president Nicolas Sarkozy acknowledged that “France should have protected the harkis from history, it did not do so.”

The US has, itself, been in parallel situations. The Montagnards, a mountainous ethnic group from Vietnam, faced brutal reprisals for working with US Special Forces during the Vietnam War. After the war, many Montagnards fled to Cambodia, as the victorious North Vietnamese targeted them for working with the enemy. Several American Green Berets and veterans fought to evacuate their Montagnards allies to the US. Some got out, but many were captured, tortured, imprisoned or killed.

In Afghanistan, too, ethnic divisions will play a part in the conflicts that will follow the US exit. After the failure of the Soviet occupation, the USSR signed the Geneva accords in 1988, along with the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving tribal animosity to fester. The Taliban, consisting mostly of Pashtuns, rose to power in the 1990s and systematically targeted non-Pashtuns. As Amy Chua writes in her book Political Tribes, in 1998, “the Taliban massacred 2,000 Uzbeks and Hazaras (who for their part had massacred Taliban Pashtuns in 1997)”. Following the US invasion of 2001, the Americans allied with the Uzbek warlords of the Northern Alliance, which in turn took revenge on the Taliban soldiers by “mercilessly” killing thousands.

Earlier this week, US secretary of state Antony Blinken stated that the Taliban “have made public and private commitments to provide and permit safe passage for Americans, for third-country nationals, and Afghans at risk going forward past August 31.” But we’ve already heard many reports to the contrary. Some wishful thinkers would like us to believe that this is a newer, modern version of the Taliban. However, this is not the Taliban 2.0. They are showing us who they are before we’ve even left. Soon after the collapse of the Afghan government, reports stated that they were “going door-to-door and screening names at Kabul checkpoints as they hunt for people who worked with US-led forces or the previous Afghan government”.

The recklessness of the Biden team continues to astound me. It really is as if they are deaf, dumb, and blind – ignoring not only what is happening on the ground in Afghanistan but also what has happened in multiple similar situations throughout history.
David Singer: Bennett kowtows to Biden and jettisons Trump
Bennett articulated Israel’s national interests in Area C when presenting his comprehensive Israel Stability Initiative in February 2012:
1. Israel unilaterally extending sovereignty over Area C:
“Through this initiative, Israel will secure vital interests: providing security to Jerusalem and the Gush Dan Region, protecting Israeli communities, and maintaining sovereignty over our National Heritage Sites. The world will not recognize our claim to sovereignty, as it does not recognize our sovereignty over the Western Wall, the Ramot and Gilo neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Yet eventually the world will adjust to the de facto reality.

"Further, the areas coming under Israel’s sovereignty will create territorial contiguity and will include the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, Ariel, Maale Adumim, the mountains above Ben Gurion Airport, and all of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. As a result, residents of Tel Aviv, the Gush Dan Region, Jerusalem, and Israel will live in full security, protected against threats from the east.”

2. Full naturalization of the 50,000 Arabs living in Area C:
“This will counter any claims of apartheid. Currently there are 350,000 Jewish residents, and only 50,000 Arab residents of Area C. Irrespective of religion, all residents of the area will receive full citizenship. Based on this outline, no Arabs or Jews will be evicted or expelled from their properties.”

3. A full Israeli security umbrella for all of Judea and Samaria:
“The success of the initiative is conditional on keeping the territories peaceful and quiet. Peace can only be achieved with the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] maintaining a strong presence in, and complete security control over, Judea and Samaria. If the IDF leaves, Hamas will rapidly infiltrate the area. This is how Hamas took control of Gaza, and how Hizballah took control of southern Lebanon”

Abandonment of these objectives by Israel’s present Government for the next four years can only be regarded as:
- an attempt to curry favour with Biden, the Democrat Party and his administration
- a missed opportunity to advance President Trump’s detailed peace plan to extend Israeli sovereignty into approximately 50% of Area C (see diagram following)

The mutual backslapping and expressions of self-admiration by Bennett and Biden for each other at their White House meeting on 27 August took place as the US was reeling from the deaths of 13 US military personnel, 18 more wounded and at least 169 Afghani citizens killed in two suicide-bombing attacks following Biden’s disastrous decision to unilaterally withdraw from Afghanistan.

Forgotten was Bennett’s own assessment of Trump in May 2020:
“Israel has never had a friend like Donald Trump. But it cannot guarantee that of his successors. His bold peace vision creates new possibilities that we believe should be pursued—but not at any price.”

Taking flight from – rather than fighting for – Bennett’s own and Trump’s carefully crafted proposals to provide Israel with secure, defensible and recognized borders – is not in Israel’s national interests.

Kowtowing to Biden and jettisoning Trump does not augur well for Bennett’s coalition Government or Israel.
Amb. Alan Baker: To Secretary of State Blinken: Repatriating Israeli Captives Is a Basic Humanitarian Right under International Conventions
UN Security Council Resolution 2474, unanimously adopted in 2019, called upon parties to armed conflict to take all appropriate measures to actively search for persons reported missing, to enable the return of their remains and to account for persons reported missing “without adverse distinction.”3

This landmark call for the return of missing persons and the remains of those killed “without adverse distinction” clearly emphasizes the importance for all involved parties to refrain from making such return conditional on other negotiating items, including obviously the passage of fuel and electricity.

These rights and obligations exist beneath and beyond specific tactical or strategic issues arising during negotiations for any political or military deal or settlement between conflicting parties. They cannot and should not be conditioned on such mundane issues as provision of fuel and electricity.

Clearly, trading the return of missing soldiers and civilians for other less humanitarian negotiating items is tantamount to ignoring or downgrading the basic humanitarian obligations to unconditionally return missing soldiers and civilians.

The return of Israel’s missing civilians and the remains of its soldiers should override all other matters in contacts between Israel, the UN, Egypt, Qatar and Hamas. It should not be relegated, conditioned or linked to negotiating issues such as civil economic and humanitarian development projects in the Gaza Strip or transfer of funds to Hamas.

Since the obligation to repatriate the missing is fully accepted by the international community, and is an inherent element in the world’s great religions, it is incumbent upon all countries and organizations to do everything in their power to bring the missing soldiers and civilians back to their families, without any condition or adverse distinction, and without any political connection.

One might hope that Secretary Blinken will be correctly briefed by his advisors as to the genuine, internationally accepted humanitarian priorities, and will refrain from sanctioning a false and dual standard regarding Israel’s missing civilians and remains of its soldiers.
  • Tuesday, August 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

This week, the League of Arab States Permanent Arab Human Rights Committee is holding its 48th semi-annual regular session.

What do you think is the top priority of the various human rights representatives of the 22 member states? Abuse of women and laws (like polygamy and inheritance laws) that ensure second class status for women? The laws that many Arab states have against criticizing the government? Going after free speech of citizens on social media? 

Obviously, no. The top item on the agenda is "Israeli violations and racist practices in the occupied Arab territories" - coincidentally, the one thing they cannot possibly do anything about and the one thing they can all agree upon.

Speaking of coincidences, condemning Israel also happened to be the top agenda item at the 47th, 46th and 45th sessions of the Arab League Human Rights Committee.

Other topics will be touched upon, of course. The committee will decide on a slogan for Arab Human Rights Day for 2022. It will consider a draft of an "Arab Convention to Combat Violence against Women and Girls and Domestic Violence." There is an agenda item on the rights of those with disabilities.

All of the topics are designed to avoid the real issue of actual human rights abuses by Arab governments.

Clearly, the entire purpose of the Arab Human Rights Committee is to shield Arab nations from accusations of human rights abuses, by pretending that they take human rights seriously.

I've never seen international human rights NGOs call out these issues. Mostly because they look at human rights the same way: primarily as a weapon against Israel.

  • Tuesday, August 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
From JNS:
A public library system in Philadelphia is promising to make operational changes after drawing criticism for what some community members are considering an effort to indoctrinate children and parents against Israel through books, videos and resource links that show a biased pro-Palestinian agenda.

The 55 branches of the library system had individual Facebook pages where librarians would often post book suggestions and readings for children and their caretakers.

The concerning posts first began during the 11-day conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror group that runs the Gaza Strip in May, when a children’s librarian at the FLP’s Lillian Marrero branch posted a video on its official Facebook page of her reading the illustrated children’s book, Baba, What Does My Name Mean? A Journey to Palestine by Rifk Ebeid, as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The librarian, Kayla Hoskinson, in a series of videos she calls “Storytime with Kayla,” introduces the books she is about to read. Hoskinson tells viewers of a video posted on May 18 that that week’s program is going to be more of a discussion and review, as well as a sharing of additional resources on the subject.

Hoskinson says that it is important to bring attention to the book because “we all see that the children in our lives do see and hear what is happening in the world, including the violence committed by Israel.”

“I’m sharing it because the struggle for liberation and total freedom is interconnected across cultures and communities. So when children, young people, see and hear about what’s happening to Palestinian people today, and for many decades, they will probably see and notice that Zionism looks a lot like racism,” she said. “And it’s important as the adults in their lives to name it and say it out loud. We should be highlighting and showing that support for the Palestinian struggle is global and rooted especially with support among black and brown people. And as we’re seeing right now, people across the world are rising up to reject Israel’s attempt to erase Palestinian people.”

In the book, a girl asks her father what her name means and then goes on an imaginary adventure through the various cities of Israel, which in the book are given Arabic names.

Hoskinson shows a picture from the book that omits the current nation of Israel, making the whole territory—not just the Gaza Strip and West Bank—Palestinian territory and calls Jerusalem by its Arab name, Al-Quds, which Hoskinson said is what she will call the city for the video.

After the library received complaints, the video was removed from the branch’s Facebook page.

The book’s official Instagram page calls Israel an apartheid state and accuses it of committing genocide and ethnic cleansing.
The book is pure propaganda, with the theme being that Arabs will "return" - and replace Israel.

No one ever explained from a Palestinian perspective why this supposed ancient homeland has borders created by Western powers a hundred years ago - or why those borders from 1949-1967 happened to not include the West Bank or Gaza. I guess it is just a coincidence that the lands claimed as Palestinian always happened to be the lands controlled by Jews.

The last page of the book hints to a sequel that would be more explicit in blaming Jews:

There is nothing wrong with publishing a book with the Palestinian narrative, as bigoted as it may be. But for a public library to use the book to incite hatred, as was done in Philadelphia, is absolutely unacceptable.

  • Tuesday, August 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
The FBI released its 2020 hate crime statistics report. 

As with every year, anti-Jewish crimes dwarfs every other anti-religious crime, with anti-Muslim crimes coming in a distant second..

There were 951 reported anti-Jewish crimes - compared with 134 anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Anti-Jewish hate crimes were 57.5% of all anti-religious crimes.

Digging deeper into the statistics, comparing antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes, we see that the crimes against Jews were also violent. 60 cases of simple assault (vs. 35 for Muslims), 34 for aggravated assault (vs. 12 for Muslims, ) and 507 for destruction of property (vs. 26 for Muslims.) 

Google News coverage for 2020 shows slightly more results for  "anti-Muslim hate crime" than for "anti-Jewish hate crime." Only in 2021 did the media seem to finally notice anti-Jewish crimes as the high-profile assaults of Jews during the Gaza war - which is truly maddening, because in 2020 there were numerous violent antisemitic crimes against religious Jews especially in Brooklyn that the media roundly ignored. 

UPDATE: Adam Levick points out to me a recent study in INSS about how the media disregarded Black antisemitism in 2020:

The media discourse focused on antisemitism within the Black community at two main points during 2020: in January, following the violent attacks in New Jersey and New York, which were carried out by African Americans, and in May and June, following the murder of George Floyd, which resulted in demonstrations throughout the country (see Figure 7). The Israeli media in Hebrew and English and the Jewish media (see, for example, Oster, 2020b) reported extensively on vandalism of synagogues in some of these demonstrations; in contrast, the national media did not report on the antisemitic incidents related to the demonstrations at all.

COVID affected crime rates. Anti-Muslim hate crime plummeted by 44% compared to 2019. But the Jew-haters still find ways to attack Jews - antisemitic hate crime only decreased by 13%.

Monday, August 30, 2021

From Ian:

Palestinians seek to erase Jewish history
Jerusalem has and continues to be the main flashpoint in the fight to erase history. Senior Palestinian leaders summarily dismiss Judaism’s holiest site, The Temple Mount, as an "alleged Temple." Ze’ev Orenstein, director of International Affairs for the City of David, an archeological site for ancient Jerusalem, told Fox News, "There is no place in the world which holds more significance for more people than Jerusalem. Yet, today, both the U.N. and Palestinian leadership are seeking to erase the Jewish and Christian heritage of Jerusalem."

"Every single day, archaeological excavations in the City of David – the place where Jerusalem began…are affirming not simply as a matter of faith, but as a matter of fact, the millennia-old connection of Jews and Christians to Jerusalem," Orenstein added. "This includes the discovery of millennia-old inscriptions affirming biblical events; ancient seals with the names – in Hebrew – of figures straight out of the pages of the Bible, including that of the biblical King Hezekiah – direct descendant of King David from 2,700 years ago."

Orenstein says that by visiting the City of David, people can witness this history "with their own eyes, touch with their own hands, and walk upon with their own feet."

Yet, while the erasure campaign is especially charged around Jerusalem, Regavim, an Israeli nongovernmental organization, warns that the cradle of Jewish history has been under constant attack for years.

"The Palestinian Authority has undertaken a very carefully and purposefully orchestrated program of historical revisionism, in an attempt to blur and eventually erase the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel," Naomi Kahn, Regavim’s international spokesperson, told Fox News. "Because Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish history, these areas are quite naturally the focal points of this insidious campaign."

She said, "The Palestinian Authority and its supporters have proven willing, even eager, to destroy the physical remains of thousands of years of Judeo-Christian culture in an attempt to make way for a fictitious quasi-historical narrative that supports their political agenda."

30 European MPs call on states to drop UN conference tainted by antisemitism
A coalition of more than 30 members of parliament from across Europe and the UK today launched a global appeal, spearheaded by the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group UN Watch, urging countries to pull out of the UN’s upcoming commemoration of a 2001 conference on racism that was plagued by virulent displays of antisemitism. (See text of appeal and list of signatories below.)

The September 22nd follow-up meeting of the Durban Conference, named after the South African city where the first edition was held in 2001, is scheduled to bring together world leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Citing concerns over antisemitism, numerous countries have already announced they are boycotting what has become known as “Durban IV,” including Austria, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic. France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

“We welcome these announcements and hereby call on all other countries to follow,” said the lawmakers. “We recall that the Durban process, since its inception at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, has included ugly displays of intolerance and antisemitism.”

The 33 parliamentarians — from Austria, Croatia, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK — called attention to “a worldwide surge of anti-Jewish violence and inflammatory language that demonizes the Jewish state as uniquely evil,” which they said echoes accusations of “genocide” and “apartheid” leveled in 2001 in advance of the Durban conference at a UN preparatory meeting in Tehran.

“We urge all UN member states not to legitimize this event,” said the MPs. They voiced firm support for combating racism “outside of the tainted Durban process,” where nations “must continue to work to combat racism, bigotry, and racial discrimination in all forms and all places.”

In tandem with the parliamentary appeal, UN Watch has launched a new petition and website calling on Brazil, Denmark, Italy, New Zealand and other countries to pull out of Durban IV.

Largest Belgian party calls on gov’t to boycott Durban conference
Belgium’s opposition New Flemish Alliance Party (N-VA) has called on the country to boycott the UN event marking 20 years since the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, which was stained with antisemitic and anti-Israel expressions.

Bart De Wever, chairman of the Flemish nationalist, conservative political party, the country’s largest, and N-VA MP Michael Freilich said Belgium should join its neighbors Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and France, as well as its allies the US, Canada and Australia, in boycotting Durban IV next month.

Those countries and more “have already indicated that they will not participate in this conference, which is for racism rather than against it,” Freilich said. “Belgium has thus become an island in our region in the midst of our neighboring countries.... What is this government waiting for?”

“Staying away is the only right decision,” de Wever said. “[We] must send a strong signal that we will not take it when the UN is being hijacked by extremist ideologies to propagate Jew-hatred.”

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes plan to attend the UN General Assembly in September, Freilich said. Durban IV will take place on the sidelines of the GA.
  • Monday, August 30, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Palestinian Media Watch reports that at least two girls' summer camps in the West Bank were named after female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who was responsible for the murder of 37 people.

The "Sisters of Dalal Mughrabi summer camp" was in Tubas:

The similarly named "The Sisters of Dalal summer camp" was held in Tulkarem. Dalal Mughrabi is so popular, people know who she is from only her first name.

The head of the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports that sponsors these camps is Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian Olympics head who is considered a frontrunner to replace Mahmoud Abbas.

Noura Erakat, the virulently anti-Israel academic who positions herself as a "human rights attorney," used Naftali Bennett's visit to the White House as an excuse to write a Washington Post op-ed to attack Israel as an "apartheid" state, along with the other lies we are so familiar with.

It would take a much longer article to go through all of her arguments, many of which I have debunked a number of times, but one paragraph is enough to show Erakat's dishonesty and how little she cares about liberal causes.

As part of his plan to present a new image, Bennett is seeking to “shrink the conflict” by making conditions more tolerable for Palestinians while maintaining Israeli domination, much like Trump’s vision for “economic peace.” This approach will also feature exalting the Abraham Accords — Israel’s recognition pacts with U.S.-backed authoritarian regimes — as models of peace. Bennett will likely support increasing U.S. aid for the Palestinian Authority, which is part of Israel’s security apparatus; just recently it arrested dozens of Palestinian human rights defenders in an effort to quash dissent.
Erakat derides the Abraham Accords on the grounds that Israel is only making peace with "U.S.-backed authoritarian regimes." One wonders whether her opposition is to the "US-backed" part or the "authoritarian" part. Given that every Muslim-majority state in the Middle East is an authoritarian regime, that means that Erakat is against Israel making peace with any state at all. This "human rights" attorney isn't interested in the problem that every Muslim and Arab country in the region is authoritarian - she is upset that Israel makes peace with any of them. 

Her statement reveals that she is not anti-authoritarianism, but anti-peace - with Israel. 

If someone opposes a peace agreement with Israel - and keep in mind that the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan were brokered under Democratic presidents, and their regimes are equally authoritarian - that means that you are against Israel's existence altogether and oppose the very idea of Jewish self-determination. 

How, exactly, would Israel's disappearance enhance human rights in the Middle East? Would the Palestinian Arabs enjoy more freedom and more rights?

We all know the answer to that, based on Erakat's next sentence, where she notes that the Palestinian Authority arrests protesters. (Calling them "human rights defenders" is a little bit of a stretch.) She blames Israel for this, of course, as if these arrests were outsourced by Israel. 

The Arabs enjoying the highest level of human rights in the Middle East are those who live in Israel. Israel's erasure, which Erakat clearly desires, would make things far worse for them, and probably for all Arabs whose regimes are at least a little shamed by Israel's human rights record compared to their own. 

Certainly the Gulf state have horrific human rights records, but their desire to tilt towards the West is moderating them, and peace with Israel is part of that. Opposing the Abraham Accords means opposing not only peace but also human rights for Arabs. 

From Ian:

Border Police officer shot on Gaza border dies of wounds
A Border Police officer wounded during violence along the border with Gaza more than a week ago died of his wounds at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba Monday afternoon, hospital officials said.

Barel Hadaria Shmueli, 21, had been fighting for his life since being shot in the head at close range by a Gazan attacker as he guarded the border on August 21. His plight had attracted nationwide attention and mass vigils outside his hospitals took place nearly nightly.

“The medical team fought for his life and he underwent multiple surgeries during his hospitalization,” Soroka hospital said in a statement. “Despite the intense efforts, due to his serious injury the medical staff was forced to determine his death. We share in the heavy grief of his family.”

The announcement of Shmueli’s death drew an outpouring of condolences from leaders, politicians and others.

“There are no words to comfort his family amid their deep grief,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “Barel was a fighter in his life and a fighter in his death. He fought for his life until the last moment, as all of the people of Israel were praying for him.”

Shmueli was wounded last Saturday night as Gaza rioters at a Hamas-run rally surged toward the security fence. In videos from the scene, rioters could be seen attempting to destroy and then snatch a soldier’s gun as it poked through a hole in the concrete wall. One man could then be seen running up to the wall, taking out a gun that had been tucked in his waistband and firing three shots through the hole at point-blank range. One of the rounds struck Shmueli in the head.

Amb. Alan Baker: Is the Gaza Security Perimeter Defunct?
The unbelievable ease with which an armed Hamas terrorist was able to brazenly approach Israel’s concrete defensive barrier that separates Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip, insert the barrel of his handgun into the narrow slit in the concrete and just blindly shoot, at close range, a border policeman, raises many serious questions.

By the same token, one may also ask how and why a regular phenomenon has been allowed to develop over the last few years by which large groups of violent, wildly incited Hamas demonstrators and armed terrorists, hysterically intent on infiltrating into Israel with the aim of harming Israeli soldiers and citizens, are able to so easily approach and storm Israel’s security barrier.

One of the central security elements of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (commonly termed “Oslo II”) was the creation of what was called the “Delimiting Line” along the entire northern and western edges of the Gaza Strip, separating the Strip from Israel’s sovereign territory.

Part of this central security element was the establishment of a “Security Perimeter” adjacent to that line, within the Gaza Strip, hundreds of meters wide. In that Security Perimeter, the PLO and Israel agreed that the Palestinian police would exercise “security responsibility for preventing infiltrations across the Delimiting Line or the introduction into the Security Perimeter of any arms, ammunition or related equipment.”
Israeli Analyst: Iran Entrenching Itself on Israel’s Border With the Syrian Golan
Iran is slowly entrenching itself in the Syrian Golan region at the border with Israel, a top Israeli analyst stated on Sunday.

The area of conflict is taking place in southern Syria, where certain rebel groups are still holding out after 10 years of civil war have seen the ruling regime of dictator Bashar Assad take back most of the country.

On the Syria Golan and the Hauran region, composed of south Syria and north Jordan, the Syrian army along with Hezbollah and Iran-backed militias — propped up by Russian political support — are besieging the city of Daraa, one of the last redoubts of the rebellion.

Veteran analyst Ehud Yaari writes on the Israeli website N12 that it is only a matter of time before Daraa falls, and the rest of what remains of the rebellion in the area will likely follow.

Jordan’s King Abdullah is attempting a delicate balancing act, argues Yaari, noting that the king has expressed a willingness to renew ties with Assad and help do the same with the rest of the Arab world, but does not want a Hezbollah-Iranian presence on his border.

This is particularly the case because divisions of the Syrian regular army in the region are now essentially controlled by Iran and Hezbollah, of which Abdullah is well aware.

Israel, says Yaari, faces a difficult situation: it does not want a war with the Syrian army, to upset Russia, or to gamble on the various rebel groups in the region.
  • Monday, August 30, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
I had written about how the friends of Rina Shnerb, the 17-year old who was murdered by a bomb while hiking, embroidered a wedding canopy for anyone who needs it so her family could participate in the celebration of weddings that Rina would never have herself.

Commenter Annie in Petah Tikva noted that her friends also initiated another project: "They set out camping kits all around the north of Israel in popular hiking spots. Inside the kits is a photo of Rina z"l, an explanation of how she was killed, and a suggestion that you donate any unused equipment of your own "in order to spread the light that shone from Rina". The kits contain coffee pots, a camping gas and other accessories to make your hike pleasant."

Rina's family also turned her death into opportunities to help people.

The Kol Rina association has multiple projects in her memory: a project to provide communal Shabbat meals for anyone who needs one, a project to limit time on smartphones and spend more time with families, the establishment of 80 Torah study groups in Rina's memory, an initiative to construct safe hiking paths and lookouts throughout Israel, a matchmaking initiative, and more.

What is amazing about this is that this is not unique by a long shot. There are so many incredible initiatives that have been created in Israel in response to terror attacks by families of victims. It is perhaps the best testament to the resilience of the Jewish people to turn tragedy into opportunity to help others.

  • Monday, August 30, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Recently, Rep.  Rashida Tlaib referred to Ahmad Erekat, the Palestinian who was shown on video swerving his car to attack a female Israeli soldier at a checkpoint, as a "loving son."

It turns out she has a habit of complimenting terrorists who attempt - or succeed - in murdering Israeli Jews, as well as their families and villages.

She referred to Mai Afana, the woman who also tried to run over and then stab Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint, as a "mother, loving daughter & successful PhD student." Afana's Facebook page where she compliments numerous terrorists, demands that Palestinian mothers give birth to more "martyrs" and describes herself as someone who looks meek but is really a "fierce lioness" makes it very clear that she planned this attack.

Tlaib has shown sympathy for Khalida Jarrar, who has admitted to being a member of the PFLP terrorist organization that has been responsible for the murder of many Jews, whose "family have gone through so much."

Muntasir Shalabi shot three Jewish seminary students and murdered Yehuda Guetta. Rashida Tlaib didn't condemn his murder - but she referred to Israel's demolishing his home in "beloved" Turmusaya. Demolishing a bricks and mortar, she said, was to "dehumanize," but murdering a human isn't.

Tlaib has also shown support for convicted murderer Rasmea Odeh, fighting her deportation from the US.

Are there any Palestinian terrorists that Rashida Tlaib has ever condemned? I sure cannot find any. To her, they are heroic.

(h/t Claire)

  • Monday, August 30, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

A week ago, a video showing abuse at Iran's Evin prison was released by hackers who broke into their video surveillance system.
In one part of the footage, a man smashes a bathroom mirror to try to cut open his arm. Prisoners — and even guards — beat each other in scenes captured by surveillance cameras. Inmates sleeping in single rooms with bunk beds stacked three high against the walls, wrapping themselves in blankets to stay warm.
The head of Iran's prison service didn't dispute the footage, taking responsibility for the abuses.

But apparently he spoke too soon. Because Iran didn't want to admit that it abuses prisoners, something that is well known.

So an Iranian official went back to the tried and true playbook and blames...the Jews.
Commenting on the prisoner abuse videos leaked by hackers in recent days, Iranian Judiciary's First Deputy Mohammad Mosaddegh on Sunday claimed that some of the scenes in the surveillance footage from Tehran's Evin prison were forged and the Judiciary -- which oversees all prisons -- could not be blamed for the abuse seen in them.

Hassan Norouzi, Deputy Chairman of the parliament’s Legal and Judiciary Affairs Committee on Saturday was the first to deny the authenticity of the abuse footage. He claimed that there is no torture in Iranian prisons. "The videos were forged by Zionists to divert the Iranian public's attention from the disgraceful defeat of the United States and Zionists [from the Taliban] in Afghanistan," he told Borna News.
Blaming "Zionists" in cases like these is so obviously antisemitism that it makes the people who try to defend every attack on "Zionism" as being legitimate look like idiots. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

  • Sunday, August 29, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Enjoy Bethlehem:
The Murad Castle was built 400 years ago during the rule of the Ottoman Sultan Murad, with an aim to protect the area of Solomon’s Pools from invaders, especially the safe passage of water resources to Jerusalem.

The Castle was transformed into a museum that relates a four thousand year old history, civilization and culture of all the people and civilizations that lived in the area. The museum is one of the biggest and most important in Palestine in terms of its history and collection of relics. It contains over 2,000 ancient pieces, which date all the way back to the Bronze, Iron, Byzantine and Islamic ages, reflecting all the civilizations that were living in the area.
Even though the castle is right in the area of Solomon's Pools, for some odd reason Jews don't seem to be mentioned as one of the peoples who have lived in the Bethlehem area. Isn't that interesting.

Anyway, the museum is also an event space nowadays. Like many museums, people can rent it out for parties or other events.

 As far as I can tell, none of the tourist sites mention that this is a sacred Islamic site, or that one has to be careful how to act at Murad Castle. 

Apparently, it is one of those unwritten rules.

Over the weekend, a party was held at the castle. Young people ate, drank alcohol and danced together.

The reaction from the conservative and religious sites has been vehement, blaming Fatah for allowing what they call "a crowd of young men and girls participating in the beat of crazy songs and mixed dance,  interspersed with the presentation of alcohol."

The Forum for Palestine Advocates reacted today in a way one would expect from the Taliban:

It is not surprising that the occupation attacks mosques and places of worship, and seizes real estate and cemeteries that represent the Islamic heritage in order to obliterate all Islamic landmarks and visit history.

 It is not surprising that we saw the influence of the occupation in converting some ancient mosques into inns, bars, dance halls, gambling and the like.

But... the strange thing, which the mind does not accept, and it contradicts the national and Islamic affiliation... that some sons of the homeland turn the square of a mosque into a dance hall and promiscuity.

The Forum of Palestine Advocates condemns this unpatriotic act of holding a party of singing, dancing and mixing in the courtyard of the Murad Castle mosque in the town of Artas, and this is a legitimate and moral crime in harmony with the settlers’ crimes against our mosques. .

The competent authorities in the Palestinian Authority must bear full responsibility for this immoral attack and deviation from national values.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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