Thursday, August 05, 2021

From Ian:

Bari Weiss and Merav Michaeli on How Global Media Portrays Israel
This Q&A is adapted from one of eight mainstage conversations held at Z3 2020: Visions of a Shared Future, a virtual conference produced by The Z3 Project and the Oshman Family JCC of Palo Alto, California, aimed at reimagining Diaspora-Israel relations.

This discussion has been condensed and edited for length and clarity. It is adapted from a conversation moderated by Anne Kornblut, Facebook’s vice president of global curation, featuring Israeli lawmaker and former reporter Merav Michaeli and New York Times editor Bari Weiss.

Kornblut: My whole life has been spent in the media, much like you all, but for me, specifically journalism and newspapers. I was at the Daily News, The New York Times, The Washington Post … and everywhere I worked — everywhere — there was a complicated relationship between the news organization and Israel, and the Jewish Diaspora, and the Jews that we covered. There was no place where it was easy, or where it wasn’t a pain point. … Then I left traditional journalism, and I joined Facebook. And I think it’s fair to say that the relationship is also fraught. So I want to ask you both: This pain point — coverage of Jewish issues, coverage of Israel — where are we with it? And is the traditional news coverage growing more fair? Is it growing more antisemitic?

Weiss: I think that, in part, the fixation of The New York Times and other places on Israel and on the conflict with the Palestinians had to do with a just a mirroring or an echoing of that conventional viewpoint — that if you want to solve the broader problems of the Middle East, and all of these sort of pathologies that set groups against one another, well, the only way to do that is to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There’s an old idea: “If it bleeds, it leads.” And it’s also true that if you could also have the slogan that if Jews are involved, if Jerusalem is involved, it’s more than just a story. People are inordinately focused on Jews and on Israel. What I’m contending is that the [stress] on it in the American press bears very little relationship to how important it is to the Middle East story. Meaning if every newspaper has a dwindling amount of resources and, you know, foreign bureaus and foreign correspondents, and Jerusalem always seems to be sort of like the center point of people’s attention. Maybe you [Michaeli] think that’s justified, I’m just curious.

Michaeli: It’s not a linchpin that, you know, once solved means that everything else will, you know, fall in place. But it is a linchpin, even in the sense that it provides an excuse to so many other hostile factors in the region. Even in that sense, it will generate a major change once there is genuine advancement or something really happens in the direction of a peace process regarding the conflict. So I completely agree. I mean, like the war in Libya, for instance, OK. Obviously it does not have anything to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the whole sort of how people and how countries and forces are divided in the Middle East, all of them have something to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And once this is changed, it will change a lot in the area. But having said all this, as an Israeli, all this is a lot less important for me, and what’s most important for me is to care about Israel’s security and its sustainability. And for that I need to find a way to figure out this conflict.

Weiss: We’re living in an era, at least in the States, or at least let’s say in the liberal institutions, like places like The New York Times, in which there is an unbelievably intense fixation on diversity, inclusion, making sure work is a safe space for everyone. And yet, you know, the lack of care when it comes to Jews inside these institutions is striking. For example, The New York Times ran two, you know, large puff pieces about the writer Alice Walker while I was there, who is a medieval antisemite. She writes poems about the bloodsucking rabbis of the Talmud, she talks about the lizard Illuminati, she’s a huge fan of David Ickes, who was banned from YouTube. We ran puff pieces about her. The Times ran one recently about Louis Farrakhan, basically saying he was just a gentleman who was sort of misunderstood.

The Franklin Prophecy
When Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., borrowed the title of a song by rapper Puff Daddy in 2019 and tweeted that “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” critics across the political spectrum lost no time denouncing her. The reference to $100 bills, which bear the portrait of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), was widely interpreted as an antisemitic trope suggesting that the pro-Israel lobby, because of its campaign contributions, holds unwarranted sway over American policy in the Middle East.

Omar’s tweet called to mind the age-old “dual loyalty” accusation often leveled against American Jews, but she might just as well have been referring to another antisemitic slur that also concerns Franklin, the Founding Father sometimes known as “the first American.”

This is the story of the “Franklin Prophecy,” known more accurately as the “Franklin Forgery”: how it got started, how it has been appropriated through the years, how it persists to this day, and what the Jewish community ought to do about it. Apart from Ben himself, the cast of characters runs the gamut from white supremacists William D. Pelley and Robert Edward Edmonson, to Nazis Rudolf Hess, Joseph Goebbels, and Julius Streicher, to New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, New York Gov. Thomas Dewey, historian Charles A. Beard, poet Ezra Pound, columnists Walter Winchell and Charles Krauthammer, and even Osama bin Laden.

Like its elder sibling, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Franklin Forgery has survived because of its utility to Jew-haters, who, in every generation, have relied on rumor, innuendo, and falsehood to excoriate “the Jews” when facts fail to serve their ends. Concocted in 1934, it has refused to disappear despite overwhelming evidence of its wholesale fabrication. The “fake news” of its day, the Franklin Forgery stubbornly lives on, one item in a veritable Sears catalog of antisemitic slanders in the Twitter and Facebook feeds and hate sites of neo-Nazis in America and in the polemics of clerics across the Muslim world.
Michael Oren: The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem
Israeli television’s latest hit, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, is melodramatic, plodding, predictable, and, by American standards at least, culturally inappropriate. It is also ahistorical and politically biased. Most disconcertingly, though, at a time when Israel is increasingly believed to have been born of militarism, racism, and colonialism, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem is silent about these charges. At its worst, it corroborates them.

Based on a bestselling novel by Sharit Yishai-Levi, the series follows the vicissitudes of the Ermozas, an upscale Sephardi family in pre-state Jerusalem. Clumsily toggling between the early 1920s and late ’30s, the drama focuses on the materfamilias, Merkada, and her sybaritic son, Gabriel. The owner of a store that appears to sell only halvah, Gabriel falls in love with a working-class Ashkenazi woman but is forced by Merkada to marry an even lower-class Sephardi woman, their illiterate housekeeper, Rosa. Played by the alpaca-eyed Hila Saada, Rosa inundates the show with a stream of tears that stretches across all 16 of its first-season episodes. And there are the Ermoza daughters—Rachelika and Luna, with the latter growing up to become the eponymous beauty queen. Their loves and disasters, longings and disappointments take place against the backdrop of Palestine from the end of the Ottoman Empire and throughout the British Mandate.

It was a period of relentless instability, punctuated by outbursts of internecine violence. It began in Jerusalem in April 1920, when thousands of Arabs, led by the fiercely antisemitic Hajj Amin al-Husayni and chanting “Palestine is our land, the Jews are our dogs,” ravaged the Old City’s Jewish Quarter. Hours of looting, raping, and murder left five Jews dead and 216 injured. Some 300 Jews had to be evacuated. The following April saw another spate of pogroms, this time directed at the Jews of Jaffa and Petah Tikvah. Eight years later, the same al-Husayni—since dubbed Grand Mufti by the British—claimed that the Jews were plotting to take over the al-Aqsa mosque. The libel incited Arab mobs to massacre the Jewish communities of Sefad and Hebron and overrun Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek. In Jerusalem, dozens of Jews were killed and wounded both within and outside the Old City walls.

This Arab-Jewish friction came to a head in the Arab Revolt, lasting from 1936 to 1939, when Palestinian irregulars attacked both Jewish and British targets. The result was a disaster from which the Palestinian nationalist movement never recovered. While 90 Jews were murdered and many more wounded, an estimated 10% of all adult Palestinian males were either killed, wounded, or jailed. Haj Amin al-Husseini took his Grand Mufti title with him to exile in Beirut, and from there to Berlin where he became an honored guest of Adolf Hitler and supporter of the Final Solution.

How Americans Forgot Communism
Why does any of this matter? Isn’t fascism the real and present danger? In 2016, after Trump’s election, I thought it clearly was. Now, I’m not so sure. The current woke movement to me is like a zombie communism that survived by hiding out in academe—the only place where communism could thrive in the United States after its rejection by the vast majority of Americans, including by the working class. Defeated on the issue of class, this living dead communism now metes out punishment to ideological opponents by policing thought and bullying nonbelievers on divisive issues like racial and gender identities.

The zombie communism also continues the tradition of demanding betrayals of familial and communal trust for the sake of the “greater good,” which is usually understood as the state. Only someone familiar with the nasty Soviet practice of ratting on neighbors to the KGB felt the chill when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio asked people to report their fellow citizens for COVID violations by sending photos of offenders to the city government.

When nearly 70% of college students believe that professors should be reported for saying something that students find “offensive,” is it surprising that nearly the same percentage of Americans are afraid to share their political views with each other? We are discovering the lesson that the Soviets and their victims learned long ago—that fear of social disapproval, especially when it’s enforced by government and the media, breeds self-censorship and obedience, and robs society of its ability to discuss and assess reality. When the monolith of progressive politicians, journalists, academics, experts, and self-proclaimed fact checkers spent over a year excoriating anyone who considered the possibility that the pandemic began as a lab leak in China, it was hard not to think of the privileged Western press in Moscow in the 1930s, led by The New York Times’ Walter Duranty, destroying the credibility of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones for telling the truth about the famine in Ukraine.

For a lifelong liberal, it feels quaint to raise alarms about political movements that remind me of the communist era, like simultaneously pearl-clutching and Red-baiting. Even referring to the words “communist” and “Bolshevik” as pejoratives makes you sound old-fashioned and uncool. But anti-communism was never cool. It was simply correct. It’s time to remember why.
How the Ohio 11 election went against the grain
After an upset in Ohio’s special election, National Journal political columnist Josh Kraushaar joined Jewish Insider’s “Limited Liability Podcast” co-hosts Richard Goldberg and Jarrod Bernstein to analyze the results — including how Jewish voters may have swung the election for Shontel Brown — what the results mean for the Democratic party and the winning streak of “kingmaker” Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC). After weeks spent focused on Ohio, Kraushaar, who pens the influential “Against the Grain” column, also previews the upcoming races to watch.

Jewish vote: “Cleveland’s Jewish community is both large and well organized. And I might even add, it’s more unified, in a sense, where you had more liberal Jews who are not maybe quite as observant in Beachwood, all the way to the more religious Orthodox communities in Cleveland Heights that were all on the same side, were all pretty early on supportive of Shontel Brown. So while I think one of the stories we’ve seen in some of these contests, these primaries between left-wing and more moderate Democratic candidates, there’s been division within the Jewish community on this in this race, pretty much everyone was pulling on the same row. They all were 100% behind Shontel Brown, organizationally and institutionally. So I think that’s sort of an example… the power of what happens in a district with a sizable Jewish community… and what happens when everyone’s kind of on the same page, sending the same message and really working together for the same result. If you look at the final result in the race and the margin that Shontel Brown won by — about 4,000 votes — just looking at the early numbers and the precinct by precinct data, it’s fair to conclude that the Jewish vote may have easily made the difference — a more than 4,000-vote margin for Shontel Brown — than her ultimate winning margin. So it’s not an exaggeration to say that the Jewish community was responsible [and] played a big role at the very least in electing Shontel Brown to Congress.”

The kingmaker: “This was a ballsy move for Jim Clyburn to get involved, to endorse and then eventually campaign for Shontel Brown when this was far from a sure victory. I mean, if Joe Biden looked like an underdog before South Carolina in the presidential primary, Shontel Brown was an even bigger underdog… So Jim Clyburn is the kingmaker, but he’s not just the kingmaker who gets in a race and endorses the candidate who’s ahead. He, in the last year, has now endorsed two underdogs. And really, I think his insight is very important, because he appreciates that despite all this noise on social media that tends to favor left-wing candidates, left-wing activism, he understands that the majority of the Democratic vote in most of these states and districts lies with African Americans, who are much more moderate than your average Democratic voter, and your moderate center-left White voters in that district as well. And that was the winning coalition for Shontel Brown.”
Limited Liability Podcast: Josh Kraushaar
On this week's episode, Rich and Jarrod are joined by National Journal columnist Josh Kraushaar to breakdown the aftermath of the surprise result in Ohio 11, including how the Jewish vote swung the election, Jim Clyburn's record as a kingmaker, and where the pro-Israel Democratic community goes from here. Plus, Josh previews the next races to watch.

Ben and Jerry’s Gave $170,000 in Grants to Board Trustee’s Anti-Israel Foundation
The Ben & Jerry's Foundation steered over $170,000 in grants to an anti-Israel nonprofit group run by one of its board directors, a potential violation of self-dealing laws, according to an ethics watchdog organization.

Anuradha Mittal is a trustee at the Ben & Jerry's Foundation, which has awarded $170,500 in grants to the Oakland Institute, an advocacy group that Mittal founded and where she serves as the paid executive director. The Oakland Institute has published articles defending Hezbollah and supporting U.S. funding to Hamas, the Washington Free Beacon reported in July.

Mittal also serves as chairwoman of the Ben & Jerry's independent corporate board and was a driving force behind the ice cream company's decision to boycott Israel.

The Ben & Jerry's Foundation grants to the Oakland Institute could run afoul of self-dealing laws, which prohibit private foundations from using funds to benefit their trustees, according to the National Legal and Policy Center, an ethics watchdog group. Ben & Jerry's and its parent company Unilever have been under increased scrutiny since the ice cream company's July decision to boycott Israel. Several states have moved to divest from Unilever following the backlash.

"Rules governing self-dealing are in place to keep even the most honest on the straight and narrow," said Tom Anderson, director of the National Legal and Policy Center's Government Integrity Project. "Anuradha Mittal and Ben and Jerry's have an obligation to adhere to these rules and should immediately be subject to an administrative review of all of their policies and procedures by Unilever. Depending on the outcome an audit may need to be performed to rein in what appears to be an out-of-control [Board of Directors]."

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the "transfer to, or use by or for the benefit of, a disqualified person of the income or assets of a private foundation is an act of self-dealing" and a violation of federal tax law. A disqualified person is defined as "any person who was in a position to exercise substantial influence over the affairs of the applicable tax-exempt organization" during the five years prior to the transaction.
The Joshua and Caleb Network: EXPOSED - Ben & Jerry's is Supporting Terrorism
You may have heard that Ben & Jerry’s decided to boycott Israel, but did you know they are also supporting terrorism? Their actions targeting Israel are also illegal in the United States and they are now facing legal action.

If you’re outside Israel, DON’T BUY BEN & JERRY’S ICE CREAM! If you’re in Israel….that’s a different story. Find out all the details on today’s episode of the Joshua & Caleb Report.

Alan Dershowitz: Ben and Jerry's Decision Is Anti-Semitic
Ben & Jerry's continues to sell their products in many of the most repressive countries in the world - countries that murder dissidents, imprison journalists, enslave women, exploit children and occupy other people's land. So why does it single out only parts of Israel and the disputed territories for a boycott? Thomas Friedman, a frequent critic of Israel, put it very well: "Singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest."

The reality is that no country in the world today that is faced with threats comparable to those faced by Israel can boast a better record of human rights, compliance with the rule of law, and concern for the lives of enemy civilians. Israel's record is far from perfect, but it is better than most and better than any other country in the Middle East. Yet, Ben & Jerry's continues to sell to other countries with far worse records.

Israel's continuing control over the disputed territory is largely a function of Palestinian refusal to accept generous Israeli offers to end the military occupation that began in 1967. Under international law, military occupations are justified so long as peace is not accepted.
Amb. Alan Baker: An Open Letter to the Board of Directors of Ben and Jerry's
Dear Board Members of Ben & Jerry’s,

In today’s ruthless, global, cut-throat business environment, it is impressive to see your company’s accentuation on social justice causes as a foundation for maintaining brand integrity and corporate core values, as well as improving the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally. Advancing such values as human rights and dignity, supporting social and economic justice, and protecting and restoring the Earth’s natural systems – all have the potential of rendering the taste and quality of your ice-cream products more palatable, both literally and figuratively.

However, your product and branding have a bitter and even toxic taste now that it is evident that your noble values are tainted by naïve or deliberate misinformation, manipulation, and political pressure of agenda-driven groups and individuals, or by a prevailing, consistently held and discriminatory political fixation entertained by members of your Board.

The taste of your product becomes sour, its brand integrity flawed, and its quality polluted.

To claim that your company and its founders are based on principle and integrity is regrettably misleading.

Your decision to end business in “Occupied Palestinian Territory” is based on what you perceive to be the notion that “a majority of the international community, including the United Nations, deems to be an illegal occupation.”

But this premise is patently inaccurate, mistaken, and misleading, since it relies on non-obligatory UN General Assembly resolutions adopted by an automatic and political majority that cannot claim to determine the legality or illegality of Israel’s presence in the territory.
Ben & Jerry’s US Franchisees Call for Company to Rescind Israel Decision
Several Ben & Jerry’s franchisees in the United States sent a letter to the company calling on them to rescind their July 19 decision to stop doing business in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

The letter was signed by franchisees located in Seattle, Boston, San Francisco and St. Louis, among other major cities, that operate 30 stores and generate $23.3 million in revenue combined. They stated: “There is a danger in the pursuit of social justice will descend into political correctness or result in the adoption of overly simplistic solutions by people who share a single view of the world that misconstrue complex problems in which multiple claims of justice are implicated.” They cited the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an example, arguing that there are “multiple and conflicting claims of justice made” and that any solution to the conflict should address those claims.

“The decision that has been made to terminate the contract with Ben & Jerry’s licensee in Israel not only distorts the situation on the ground—it has imposed and will to continue to impose, substantial financial costs on all of us,” the letter stated. “More importantly, the controversy your recent actions have brought upon our local businesses has had an adverse effect on the value of our independently owned franchises and investments.” The franchisees added that their respective families and communities “have shamed us personally for doing business not just with a company that draws controversy, but with one that continues to consider the calculated negative affect on its franchisees as acceptable collateral damage.”

They concluded the letter by stating: “Those who feel strongly about Israel that they want to boycott it or some part of the territory it administers are free to do so. They cannot, however, do that at our expense. We believe this decision needs to be re-examined and withdrawn.”
Jewish group slams ADL: 'No longer competent' to identify anti-Semitism
The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) took renewed aim at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Tuesday, after the ADL announced a partnership with Hillel International, the Jewish college organization, to document anti-Semitism on American campuses.

While such an effort is noble and worthwhile, the ADL, CJV pointed out, demonstrated that it lacks the moral clarity to properly identify anti-Semitism, let alone combat it.

An ADL spokesperson, describing the new initiative, wrongly claimed that, “Anti-Israel activism in and of itself is not anti-Semitism,” and that they would need to “carefully evaluate” student government resolutions supporting BDS, the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that seeks to destroy the State of Israel.

“Only someone with no sense of Jewish history could claim that BDS is not anti-Semitic,” said CJV Southern Regional Vice President Rabbi Moshe B. Parnes. “The first Nazi edict was a boycott of Jewish businesses; economic warfare directed against the Jewish people was then and has always been one of the first signs of systemic Jew-hatred. Combating anti-Semitism in all its forms defined the ADL’s mission throughout its long and storied history, and it is crucial that it return to its core goals.”

For millennia, anti-Semitism has been driven by fabricated conspiracy theories regarding Jewish supremacists acquiring wealth by means of thievery and fraud. In the modern era, the same fictional beliefs are applied to the State of Israel. BDS arose from and is perpetuated by the same concocted claims expressed as land theft, apartheid, ethnic cleansing and similar terms, providing a prime example of ancient anti-Semitism in new dress.
Clifford D. May: An open letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield
Dear Messrs. Cohen and Greenfield,

Or is it okay if I call you Ben and Jerry? (You can call me Cliff!) So, anyhow, I read your op-ed in The New York Times, headlined, “We’re Ben and Jerry. Men of Ice Cream, Men of Principle,” and I thought you might like – or at least tolerate – a little feedback.

First: You call yourselves supporters of Israel. I don’t doubt it. But you should be aware that the BDS (“boycott, divest and sanction”) movement with which you’re now associated openly seeks Israel’s extermination.

“Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine,” Omar Barghouti, founder and leader of the movement (it’s really an agit-prop campaign) has said. “No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”

Perhaps you believe that the Palestinian state Mr. Barghouti hopes to see replace the Jewish state would refrain from killing or expelling Jews, and allow them to remain as a minority. But that’s hardly a safe bet considering what’s happened to Jews elsewhere in the region. (You know what I’m talking about, right?) And is there any country in the Middle East (other than Israel) where minorities – Kurds, Bahai, Druze, Christians, whatever – enjoy even basic rights?

In fact, in Gaza and the areas of the West Bank governed by the Palestinian Authority, selling land to Jews is a crime (with the death penalty for those who transgress), bounties are paid to terrorists who murder Jews (children included), and the educational system demonizes Jews (not just Israeli Jews). None of that is boycott-worthy?

Situation Report: Protesters chant “Globalize the Intifada” at Brooklyn demonstration
Hundreds of protestors participated in a pro-Palestinian rally in Brooklyn on August 1, calling for a “globalized intifada” and the demise of the Jewish state of Israel. The demonstration was organized by a group called Within Our Lifetime (WOL), which spells out its mantra to globalize the Intifada “comes from the urgent need to defend lands, resist oppressors and break free from the genocidal grip of U.S. imperialism and Zionism.” The organization has protests planned in New York through the week of September 17, according to their website.

In videos circulated on social media, demonstrators can be heard chanting “We don’t want two states, we want all of it,” and “Revolutionize the Intifada.” Intifada is an Arabic word meaning rebellion or uprising. Two intifadas have been launched against the Jewish state in history, the first commencing in the late 1980’s and the latter in the early 2000’s. In the second intifada, a wave of deadly terrorism targeting Israeli civilians in public spaces resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 Jews. In one devastating case, a mob attacked and lynched two off-duty Israeli reservists at a police station in Ramallah.

By encouraging a “globalized intifada,” demonstrators were actively advocating for a campaign to support a violent resistance against Israel on a global scale. This fact is especially disturbing considering the rise in anti-Semitic violence that has surged New York in recent months. According to NYPD data, hate crimes in New York City alone have climbed by over 139 percent in 2021. In data released by the Anti-Defamation League, New York led the U.S. in anti-Semitic incidents in 2020, making up nearly 17% of the national total.
Jewish Voice for Peace linked to anti-Israel ‘intifada rally’ in Brooklyn
The anti-Israel group Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) supported a pro-Palestinian rally in Brooklyn, N.Y., over the weekend where hundreds of protestors glorified uprisings against Israel.

In an Instagram story by and later shared on Twitter, the New York chapter of JVP posted a photo from the rally on Saturday and thanked the Palestinian-led community organization Within Our Lifetime (WOL) for organizing the “powerful” demonstration.

The rally was held in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn. Protesters waved Palestinian flags while chanting “Free Palestine,” “There is only one solution: Intifada revolution” and “We don’t want no two states, we want all of it”—a reference to the proposed two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Rally-goers marched behind three large banners that read “Globalize the intifada,” “Zionism is terrorism” and “We will free Palestine within our lifetime.” Other slogans included, “If we don’t get no justice, then they don’t get no peace,” “Mobilize the intifada” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

WOL said on its website that the need to “globalize the intifada comes from the urgent need to defend our lands, resist our oppressors and break free from the genocidal grip of U.S. imperialism and Zionism.”
It’s ethnic studies in universities that need watching
While California’s Jewish community has been focused on how ethnic studies curricula and legislation will affect Jewish children in K-12, far too little attention has been paid to ground zero in the state’s ethnic studies controversy — namely, ethnic studies departments on University of California and California State University campuses.

Consider, for example, UCLA’s Asian American Studies Department. This fall, AASD will be offering a new course, “Palestine in Comparative Ethnic Studies Frameworks.” The course will examine Palestine and Palestinians “through interdisciplinary ethnic studies optics and frameworks … including but not limited to settler-colonialism and indigenous sovereignty; policing, prison and circular regimes; class consciousness; war, empire and imperialism; sexual and gender politics, refugee/migrant activist remarks; [and] apartheid.”

This description is deeply troubling.

First, it strongly suggests the course will be less a scholarly investigation of “Palestine and Palestinians” than the convening of an academic kangaroo court in which Israel is falsely charged with multiple crimes against humanity — including settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, genocide, white supremacy and apartheid — and judged to be guilty as charged, with students encouraged to help carry out Israel’s sentence by engaging in “social justice” activism, such as BDS, to dismantle the Jewish state.

How can one know this from a course description that never mentions Israel? Consider the source: Loubna Qutami, the assistant professor teaching the course, has been an avid anti-Zionist activist for nearly two decades. A founder and past international general coordinator of the Palestinian Youth Movement, Qutami helped shape the organization’s mission of uniting transnational Palestinian youth around the singular goal of liberating historic Palestine (i.e., modern-day Israel) from the “ongoing Zionist colonialist occupation of our homeland.”
And Now for Something Completely Different: Anti-Semite Wants to Stop Jews from Making Aliyah
Thank God for Canary Mission, the website that keeps records on anti-Semites in America, otherwise, this reporter would still be scratching his head, staring at this lady who can’t be described as anything but the Arab Karen.

Her name is Lamis Deek, and on a recent afternoon in suburban New York, she stood outside the home of a Jewish family that was in the process of making aliyah. Listen to what she had to say, and then read the background we copied and pasted from Canary Mission.

There’s a wrinkle to the story that isn’t clearly evident from the Facebook diatribe above. The Jewish resident under attack is, apparently, Jacob Fauci, who back in May was caught on video responding to an Arab woman from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah who said he was stealing her home – with what had to be the ultimate stupid comeback: “If I don’t steal it someone else will.” (Admittedly, the video with his statement was heavily edited and his statements were excerpted from what is clearly a longer exchange.)

Of course, he should have simply said, “I didn’t steal it, you stole it from its Jewish owners, and that’s been proven in court over and over again.”

So that really unwise response earned him the visit of the anti-Aliyah protesters.

World Wakes to Shocking News: ‘Not Everything is About Israelis and Palestinians’ (satire)
Citizens around the world, especially Israelis and Palestinians, are waking up this morning to the shocking news that not everything going on in the world involves and revolves around their little conflict. International developments for which Israelis and Palestinians have no involvement include:
1. Accelerating the spread of the Delta and Delta Plus Coronavirus variants throughout the world. This apparently was not caused by a dropped test tube in a secret IDF chemical warfare lab in the Negev desert or created in one of Hamas’ Iranian-funded terror tunnels.
2. Gun violence in America is not instigated by Mossad black operations units working alongside special units of covert Homeland Security operatives or by pro-Palestinian groups running around shooting Jews like it’s a game of Whac-A-Mole.
3. Brexit. Totally an inside job.
4. The existence of the Illuminati, Oath Keepers, and Scientology.
5. Novak Djokovic. He was just born that way.

Yossi, a self-obsessed Israeli Jew from Tel Aviv, expressed amazement. “Are you sure? Because I was certain that we had our mucky little paws into pretty much everything. You’re not telling me that we didn’t have at least some small role in getting Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rashida Tlaib elected around the same time just to screw with Americans?”
Antisemitic Palestinian Media Personality Unrepentant
Among Barghouti’s 74k-strong following on Twitter is a Who’s Who of influential left-wing and right-wing individuals known for their ferocious hostility to Israel and the Jewish people, including Jeremy Corbyn, Linda Sarsour, Rashida Tlaib, Mehdi Hasan and Sarah Jeong.

As Barghouti reacted to HonestReporting’s investigation by pretending to be the victim, many of her followers responded by supporting her. Numerous respondents even attempted to justify her comparisons with Nazis. Clearly, Barghouti has attracted a toxic, deeply antisemitic following.

Notably, Barghouti started her diatribe by baselessly attempting to link HonestReporting with the Israeli government. For the record, HonestReporting is not funded by any government ministry. But Barghouti is right about one thing, though: We do understand social media very well.

We also understand that the traditional media play a vital role in the functioning of a healthy democracy. The platform they provide must not be granted to those who callously throw about Nazi comparisons, spread hatred, and make light of genocide.

So, a message to Barghouti and all other media personalities, journalists and those in the industry who fail to understand the difference between legitimate criticism and hate speech: HonestReporting will continue to call out everyone who crosses this fine line. People who disseminate hate in the media are doing the entire journalism profession and, by extension, the public a grave disservice.

And it shouldn’t be tolerated any longer.

Nicole Lampert: Abuse so bad it leads to insomnia and children bullied at school ... as a report says social media giants are failing to tackle anti-Semitism, one writer bravely shares: Shocking real-life toll of online trolling
The first time someone told me on Facebook that ‘the Jews deserve what is coming to them after the way they’ve behaved towards Jeremy Corbyn,’ the shock was so profound, so sharp, it felt like I had been slapped across the face.

I was on a Facebook group with left-wingers talking about the last election and expected someone to denounce the comment. Instead, they gave it like after like, compounding my pain. Thumbs up for telling the Jew they deserve anti-Semitism for speaking out against anti-Semitism.

I reported the message to Facebook and was told it didn’t go against their community standards. There’s an option to get hate messages looked at for a second time, which I did, but still the moderators saw nothing wrong with it. It is probably still there.

I was shocked, but not surprised. I know people who have had temporary Facebook bans for a single swear word yet the platform hosts groups of neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers who happily go about their merry business of pretending Jews have made up the murder of six million people.

On Twitter, meanwhile, I have been sent photographs of the Star of David turned into a swastika, called a ‘Nazi Zio’, and an ‘apartheid-loving baby-killer’. That tends to be from left-wing people with ‘peace and love’ or ‘anti-racist’ on their online biographies. From the far right, I’ve had ‘k***’, ‘y**’ and ‘Jew b****’. From both I’ve been told: ‘Hitler was right.’ In fact, during the last skirmish between Israel and Gaza in May, ‘#HitlerWasRight’ was trending on Twitter. For a full 24 hours, it was one of the most popular phrases used on the site.

So, it’s no surprise that a report published last week found the five biggest social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok — have systematically failed to tackle anti-Semitism. The report, for the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, called social media a ‘safe space for racists’ because platforms had failed to act on 84 per cent of complaints about posts spreading anti-Jewish hatred.

Five questions for Mohammed el-Kurd the British media won't ask
The interviews by Times and FT journalists avoided any challenging questions, accepted every claim Kurd made at face value and framed him as a progressive activist who’s merely fighting to save his family from eviction. Yet, as we showed in our posts, even the most cursory research of previous comments he’s made during interviews and, especially, on social media paint a much different picture, one fiercely at odds with the desired narrative.

So, based on our research of his Twitter account, we decided to circulate questions we’d ask Kurd – who’s claimed he has “no problem with Jews” – if given the opportunity.
1. On Twitter you recently referred to Zionism as a “death cult“, and praised as eloquent a video by the late Kwame Ture where he called Zionism “Satanic“. Do you stand by these remarks? If so, would you agree that you’re saying, in effect, that the overwhelming majority of the world’s Jews (who, of course, are Zionists) support a Satanic death cult?
2. On Twitter, you complained that it’s “psychotic” to ask Palestinians to refrain from violence. Does this mean you support Palestinian terror attacks?
3. On Twitter, you claimed there’s no archaeological evidence that the 1st and 2nd Temples existed, despite the fact that there is no serious historical debate about their existence. Many would accuse you of erasing Jewish history and falsely denying their connection to the land. How do you respond?
4. During an interview on MSNBC in June, the host asked you if you thought the new government (led by Naftali Bennett) would change anything for the better for Palestinians? You responded by saying “No”, and that ‘all Israelis are the same. They’re all terrorists’. I’m sure you’d agree that if, say, an Israeli settler said “all Palestinians are the same, they’re all terrorists”, you’d call that racist. How is what you said any different?
5. On Twitter, you asked God to rid the world of Zionists? How is this not a call for the mass murder of Jews?

Those not blocked on Twitter by the fluent English speaker are encouraged to send them his way: @m7mdkurd

We await his response.
The Philadelphia Inquirer Misleads About Israel
The Inquirer, which has an estimated 193,000 daily subscribers, has frequently provided commentary and analysis that misleads about the Jewish state.

Take, for example, a July 22, 2021 column by Trudy Rubin, entitled “Ben and Jerry’s boycott is not antisemitic, nor a rejection of Israel.” Rubin is the Inquirer’s World View columnist and her commentary on international affairs has been a longtime staple at the newspaper. But her latest column on Israel is replete with errors and omissions.

On July 19, 2021 Ben and Jerry’s ice cream brand, which is owned and operated by a British multinational company called Unilever, announced that it would end its license agreement with an Israeli-based manufacturer to ensure that its products “will no longer be sold” in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The decision sparked an outcry and, thus far, has proven to be quite costly to Unilever, which has subsequently seen its stocks take a nosedive.

As the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington D.C.-based think tank, noted in a July 22, 2021 Newsweek op-ed:

“Unilever cut off the longstanding licensee [in Israel] after it refused to halt sales in the disputed territories, which reportedly would violate Israeli law. In short, Unilever engaged in a boycott of Israel as defined by state and federal law, which means the company may soon be facing penalties that eat into its profits.”

The company’s decision is discriminatory.

As FDD, and others have pointed out, Unilever maintains corporate offices in numerous human rights-abusing countries—several of which also have active territory disputes—including China, Pakistan, Russia, Venezuela, Turkey and Zimbabwe, among others. Further, Unilever is “reportedly a major purchaser of tomato paste from state-owned factories in China’s Xinjiang region, where the U.S. State Department says China is engaged in ‘horrific abuses.’”

To Unilever, business with serial human rights abusers like Russia and China is fine, with no apparent stipulations; no acquiescence to boycott campaigns. But, as often is the case, there is a different standard when it comes to the Jewish state.
Antisemitism in the Shadow of the Holocaust
My grandfather — an Auschwitz survivor — never spoke to us about the Holocaust. The last time he saw his father, he was going to the left of the line as my grandfather, the baby of the family, was directed to the right. His father was looking at him steadily, already beginning to murmur what my grandfather later realized was most likely the Vidhi — the confession prayer said before death.

The only thing I ever heard my grandfather say about his time in the concentration and death camps was on a Shabbat afternoon, when he saw a piece of bread and butter on the table.

“Ah, what we would have done for a piece of bread and butter in Auschwitz.”

Growing up in Seattle, I don’t remember experiencing any antisemitism, although I believe my father did. It wasn’t until I went to an all-girls yeshiva in Pittsburgh, at the tender age of 13, that I had my first run in. We stood out as we walked in our pleated skirts and cardigans. More than once, local teens threw pennies at us, miming pretend sneezes, and shouting “Jew, Jews.”

My own sons were later subjected to this abuse, with people calling them “Jew boy,” among other things. And we all know people experienced antisemitism in the 20th century that was far worse than this.

But now — in 2021 — things feel different.

The howling for Jewish blood is deafening, a virtual pogrom is playing out on social media — and the world, along with so many who claim to care about peace and human rights, just sits idly by. The double standard, the silence, it just feels different.

I was never afraid growing up. I believed the Holocaust was the worst of it. I believed we were the new world, a better world. Now I think “Et Tu, Brute? You too, America?”

The dread of being Jewish is not new.

The real dread I feel is for America — the land of the free, the home of the brave — the country my grandmother was so grateful for. Will you let us down America, country of our dreams? Will you lose yourself to false prophets, serving up stale, tasteless tropes of hatred and contempt for Jewish life? Or will you stand strong, and fall on the right side of history?

Only time will tell; but Jews have every reason to be concerned — and to fight back.

World Zionist Organization Applauds Actor for Volunteering to Help LA Jewish Community Stay Safe
The chairman of the World Zionist Organization praised Jewish former actor Jonathan Lipnicki for taking part in a volunteer group in Los Angeles that helps Jews safely walk to and from synagogues on Shabbat following a number of local antisemitic attacks.

Yaakov Hagoel, who is also acting chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, said in a letter to Lipnicki on Monday that he was “deeply moved” by the actor’s initiative to help the Los Angeles Jewish community.

The 30-year-old — a black belt in Brazilian Jujutsu who got his big break as a child star in “Jerry Maguire” — helps escort synagogue goers in the Fairfax District on Fridays and Saturdays, as part of a volunteer group organized by fellow actor and martial artist Remington Franklin. The group has been nicknamed the “Shabbat Angels.”

“I strongly commend your efforts,” Hagoel wrote. “In the face of rising antisemitism, which reached new heights during Israel’s Operation Guardian of the Walls in May, the work of you and your colleagues to assist Jews in openly and safely practicing their faith, while raising public awareness of the threat to Jewish communities, is extremely important.”

Hagoel cited a Jewish phrase about how “all members of the Jewish people are responsible for one another” and told Lipnicki “the work of the Shabbat Angels is a true example of turning this value of mutual responsibility into action.” The WZO chairman also said that the actor’s late grandfather, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, would “no doubt feel the deepest pride in seeing you today protecting your fellow Jews.”
Teen Who Allegedly Beat Jewish Man in Brooklyn Charged for Nine Other Crimes
A teenager involved in an attack on a Jewish man in Brooklyn, NY, was charged in connection to nine other crimes and faces a total of 119 counts, reported Hamodia.

Alix Dure, 18, of East Flatbush was arrested last week and charged with 11 counts related to an incident on July 16 in which he attacked Levi Zupnik, 41, while the latter was on his way to Congregation Shaarei Eliezer Torna in Midwood.

Zupnik was repeatedly punched in the face by Dure and another man, both of whom also stole the victim’s bag that contained his tallis, tefillin and prayer book. The charges against Dure include second-degree robbery, criminal possession of stolen property, attempted assault, menacing and harassment.

Dure was not charged with assault because the other perpetrator was allegedly the one who hit Zupnik, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

The nine other incidents were mostly robberies committed between July 6 and July 27 in the Midwood, East Midwood and Flatbush neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Dure admitted to almost all the crimes, prosecutors said.

Dure was charged in total with 119 counts, which included first- and second-degree robbery, assault, grand larceny, petit larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, menacing, harassment and trespass, Hamodia reported. The two counts of first-degree robbery each carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Prosecution Urged of Far Right Propagandist in Slovenia For ‘Hero Hitler’ Tweet
The editor of a far right “news agency” in Slovenia that promotes what it calls “traditional values” has drawn widespread condemnation for tweeting that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was a “hero.”

Urban Purgar — editor-in-chief of the National Press Agency (NTA) and president of its backer, the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Values — tweeted on Sunday that “Hitler is #hero,” immediately raising the question of whether his comment violated hate speech laws in the western Balkan republic.

Aleš Zalar, a former Justice Minister, tweeted in response to Purgar that glorifying the Nazi dictator was a criminal act. “It is on the state prosecution to make a move,” Zalar said. “The reaction of the state’s criminal apparatus must be immediate and strict.”

Several political parties also condemned the tweet, with the opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) demanding that the government and relevant authorities launch appropriate proceedings against Purgar, according to local news outlet Total Slovenia.

“In democratic Slovenia, such posts and spreading of intolerance are absolutely unacceptable. We expect from all government parties to clearly condemn such glorification of Hitler and, above all, to take measures,” the party declared.

Matej Tonin, the head of the coalition New Slovenia (NSi), meanwhile remarked that “European nations suffered in the past century due to three totalitarian regimes. Glorifying leaders who are responsible for the death of millions of people is reprehensible and has no place in modern society.”

El Al’s in-flight COVID testing program to take off Thursday
El Al will kick off a pilot program on Thursday to screen passengers for COVID-19 just before boarding their airplane or on the flight itself so that they do not have to be tested upon landing at Ben-Gurion Airport.

According to Health Ministry regulations, any traveler entering Israel must be screened for the virus. Even vaccinated individuals who are not coming from banned or orange countries with special quarantine requirements must take this test and enter isolation until receipt of a negative result or 24 hours – whichever comes first.

Travelers have complained of long lines and crowded closed spaces, a recipe for spreading infection.

The pilot, which is being carried out in collaboration with the Health Ministry and the coronavirus testing company Femi Premium which already manages testing at the airport, would enable passengers to skip these lines.
COVID: 90% of patients treated with new Israeli drug discharged in 5 days
Some 93% of 90 coronavirus serious patients treated in several Greek hospitals with a new drug developed by a team at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center as part of the Phase II trial of the treatment were discharged in five days or fewer.

The Phase II trial confirmed the results of Phase I, which was conducted in Israel last winter and saw 29 out of 30 patients in moderate to serious condition recover within days.

“The main goal of this study was to verify that the drug is safe,” Prof. Nadir Arber said. “To this day we have not registered any significant side effect in any patient from both groups.”

The trial was conducted in Athens because Israel did not have enough relevant patients. The principal investigator was Greece’s coronavirus commissioner, Prof. Sotiris Tsiodras.

Arber and his team, including Dr. Shiran Shapira, developed the drug based on a molecule that the professor has been studying for 25 years called CD24, which is naturally present in the body.
Miami’s largest university launches course on Israeli entrepreneurship
Miami’s largest university will begin offering a course this year focused on Israeli entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Florida International University class, called “Innovation Nation: The Global Influence of Israeli Technology and Entrepreneurship,” aims to impart lessons from Israel’s startup ecosystem to would-be Florida business leaders.

The class will be led by Aaron Kaplowitz and Andi Wolfer of the United States-Israel Business Alliance, an organization that seeks to strengthen economic ties between US states and Israel.

The organization formerly focused on New York-Israel business connections, but recently opened a second office in Miami to develop ties between Israel and Florida, a move that led to the new university class.

“What we’re trying to do is bring together all the elements that comprise an innovation ecosystem and have the students understand the different angles that go into not just having an idea, but bringing the idea to market,” said Kaplowitz, the president of the business alliance.

During the course, students will meet with experts and business leaders, track Israeli startups and draw lessons from both their successes and failures.
JNF Paid for Israel's Participation in 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, But Wait, There's More
A historic letter that was recently found in the KKL-JNF archives dating back to the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, in which the first-ever Israeli delegation competed – may serve as proof to the fact that the agency provided the fledgling State of Israel with the financial support that enabled its participation in the games.

Back then, Israel was short on financial resources and could not afford to send a fully-equipped athletic delegation on a par with international standards. Enter KKL-JNF, by then a well-established Jewish agency, which made a 1,000 Lira (Israeli Pound) contribution so the Israeli athletes could play in the Finnish capital.

In the letter, seen below, the Olympic team sent KKL-JNF’s Chairman Avraham Granot “Heartfelt wishes from the first Israeli delegation to the 15th Olympic Games on the first day of the games.” The letter was signed by renowned runner David Tabak and springboard diver Yoav Ra’anan. Tabak won his initial heats in both 100 and 200 meters and reached 21st and 27th place respectively in the ensuing races. Ra’anan reached 9th place in jumping from three meters.

After the Olympics, the Israeli government set up a “committee to investigate the affair of the appearance of the Israeli delegation at the Olympics.” The committee examined “whether there was a failure in the performance of our athletes at the games,” and determined that there was no failure and there were even satisfactory achievements.
‘Stumbling Blocks’ in Amsterdam to Honor Lesbian and Gay Resistance Heroes Who Fought Nazi Occupation
The city of Amsterdam is to honor the memories of nine gay and lesbian resistance fighters who lost their lives combating the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.

At the initiative of historian Judith Schuyf, who has been researching the biographies of the resistance fighters — all of whom were Jews — the nine victims will each be honored with a “Stolpersteine” (“stumbling block”), a gold-colored stone on which commemorative details are engraved and which is then inserted into the sidewalk.

Four such stones were inaugurated on Tuesday at different locations in Amsterdam. The inscription on them specifies that the person being commemorated was persecuted for “being Jewish, gay, a resistance fighter.”

Two of the stones honored Mina Sluyter and Samuel Hoepelman, who were among the first Jewish citizens of Amsterdam to be deported to German-run concentration camps in Poland. Sluyter died in Auschwitz in 1942, while Hoepelman perished in Sobibor one year later.

In police files from the time that have survived the war, Sluyter was suspected of maintaining a relationship with an “Aryan” woman, while Hoepelman was accused of “fornicating” with “Aryan” boys.

Similarly honored with their own stones on Tuesday were Willem Arondéus and Karel Pekelharing, who were part of the so-called Artists’ Resistance.

Arondéus was involved in the attack in March 1943 on the population registry led by the sculptor Gerrit Jan van der Veen. Pekelharing was part of the vigilante group that made a number of attempts in 1944 to free a group of comrades from a notorious detention center in the center of the city.
75 years since Nuremberg Trials, BBC radio releases harrowing audio series
After nearly 75 years since the sentencing of World War II criminals, a new drama from BBC Radio 4 follows the dash to hunt down Nazis, the station reported.

Nuremberg begins as Nazi commanders are arrested and held in a former luxurious but now stripped-out Luxembourg hotel in May 1945. Documenting the accused awaiting trial, on suicide watch and at risk of reprisals, the series tracks how the trial was strung together, grappling with the legal systems of Britain, America, France and Russia, and how the monumental sentencing nearly didn't happen, stretched between the preferences of Truman, Churchill and Stalin.

Written by Jonathan Myerson, the drama tells the story from the lesser-heard perspectives of those amongst the thousands of individuals tasked with fighting what became the last battle of World War II - an interpreter, psychologist, reporter, court officer and others who helped it happen, also while giving listeners an inside scoop of Nazi testimony based on court transcripts.

The BBC noted that the the audio provides the first-ever hearing of distressing evidence of the Holocaust, with the trial effectively originating the word ‘genocide’ to describe crimes inflicted upon Jews, and other persecuted minorities.


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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 14 years and 30,000 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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